Tigers feat amazes chairman

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Hull chairman Paul Duffen claims the only thing that has surprised him about the club's dramatic rise has been its speed.

Duffen took control of the club, fresh from surviving a Coca-Cola Championship relegation battle, in summer 2007 with a long-term desire to establish them as a "force to be reckoned with in English football".

With the Tigers now sitting sixth in the Barclays Premier League after winning promotion, Duffen is well on track to achieving his aims but he admits he could not have expected it so soon. He said: "Success has come really quickly to us. Last season we were re-writing Hull City's history books and this season we are rewriting the Premier League history books, which is a wonderful thing."

He added: "We are certainly not surprised by the success we have had because it was an objective, but the speed at which it has happened has been absolutely fantastic.

"The effect it has had on the city has been humbling and it is a privilege to be here at this point in time."

Hull entered the season as most pundits' favourites for relegation but they have confounded all to stay within reach of the competition's pace-setters.

That has raised the unlikely prospect of a club in the fourth tier just five years ago qualifying for Europe, but Duffen insists avoiding relegation is still the campaign's prime objective.

He said: "I am not a great believer in moving the goalposts halfway through a campaign, staying in the Premier League is all that matters.

"To be honest, whether we finish seventh or 17th doesn't really matter.

"Where we are at this point, it would be disappointing if we finished in the bottom third, but it is not the drive at the football club at the moment. It is important we continue to build and prosper and it is work in progress."

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Hull City

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