Hull City's positive start to the season indicates immediate top flight return

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Hull City may not be current leaders of the Championship, but they'll certainly be on a few gamblers' betting slips for promotion at the end of the season.

Steve Bruce's men remain fourth in the Sky Bet Championship despite losing to Rotherham over the weekend after winning their first game in front of Sky TV cameras since December 2013 against Reading last Wednesday.

Prior to their weekend loss, back-to-back home victories against the Royals and Bolton Wanderers overshadowed a recent turbulent time for the Tigers, who hadn't won in their three previous league fixtures.


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So, does Steve Bruce have enough energy in the tank to guide his side back into the Premier League for the second time?

Michael Dawson's ongoing six week absence after recently recovering from another irritating injury will certainly frustrate fans in East Yorkshire. Before the former Tottenham Hotspur defender picked up a knock at Ashton Gate last month, Hull had one of the best defences in England along with Arsenal and Manchester United.

Nevertheless, Harry Maguire and Curtis Davies have done little wrong since the skipper returned to the physio room, yet their perseverance will have to persist on the road should the Tigers remain in form over the festive period.

Goals were something Hull struggled to come by in the Premier League last season, yet this season Steve Bruce's men have hit the net 31 times. Abel Hernandez, currently in line to claim the Tigers' Golden Boot award in May, has bagged eight league goals so far. 

Chuba Akpom, on loan from Arsenal, is his understudy, five goals off the pace. However, the youngster's place in the team hangs in the balance after a child-like reaction to being substituted angered his manager, despite apologising on social media just hours later.


The midfield is where most of Hull's problems lie; a lot of the goals conceded this season have stemmed from laziness in the middle of the park. Tom Huddlestone has stood directly in the firing line and consequently found himself a regular on the bench.

Winger Sam Clucas may be an exciting prospect for the future, but his inexperience is exactly what a promotion-chasing side don't need. Perhaps manager Bruce needs to be on the look out for another winger in January despite landing the former Chesterfield midfielder over the summer.

Ahmed Elmohamady, another high quality star, has been blasted by fans over the past few weeks for showing a poor attitude whilst on the pitch - a complete contrast from the energetic Egyptian we saw last season.

Overall, Bruce can't complain much with his work over the past year. Not only did he guide his side to the quarter-finals of the Capital One Cup, but the Geordie has given Hull a firm, promotion-boosting position just before Christmas in order to give his players fuel for the task that lies ahead in 2016.

His best summer signings, Moses Odubajo and Akpom, are currently working wonders and there are few clouds that the fans can cast above their gaffer so far in terms of tactics. Should his hard work continue, we could well see the Tigers on Match of the Day again very soon.


A non-competitive Championship season is something no man on earth has heard of. There are more teams than ever before in hot pursuit of a place in the Premier League, and Hull will have to fend off Derby County, Middlesbrough, Brighton & Hove Albion, Burnley and Ipswich Town.

Brighton have recently lost their shining star, Solly March, for the season, shooting the Seagulls well and truly out of the sky. However, James Wilson and Bobby Zamora are still at Chris Hughton's disposal, so expect the goals to continue flowing on the south coast.

Burnley are beginning to tail off after failing to win in their last six games. However, the Clarets face Hull on Boxing Day so could easily re-enter the equation.

Top-of-the-table Middlesbrough seem to be invincible at the moment. That wasn't the case last month, though, losing 3-0 at the hands of Hull themselves. 

It's still a very open race for promotion, but it's guaranteed that there will be a handful of teams charging towards the winning post as they enter the final furlong during May, and it's very likely that the Tigers may well be leading the other horses in the chase for the Premier League.

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