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Bowen holds the key to Hull play-off push - Interview
Saturday, 28th Dec 2019 21:52 by Clive Whittingham

It's been a wildly inconsistent season for Sunday's opponents Hull City so far, but according to Tom Griffin from the new Amber View blog there's potential in this side if star man Jarrod Bowen stays through January and shrewd additions are made.

How would you assess Hull’s season so far?

Our season so far has been inconsistent, intriguing and unpredictable. For example; we’ve beaten fourth in the league Preston 4-0 at home, whilst we’ve also succumbed to 3-1 and 3-0 defeats to Huddersfield and Barnsley respectively. In my pre-season predictions I had us down to finish lower mid table and we are well within the mix for a play-off spots at the halfway point. Therefore, I’d assess our season at this stage as positive. We hardly spent in the summer and we held onto our valuable assets in Bowen and Grosicki.

League games so far…
Swansea 2-1 Hull (Baston 47, Van Der Horn 49 – Batty 3)
Hull 2-1 Reading (Bowen 6, Irvine 16 – Joao 66)
Brentford 1-1 Hull (Watkins 72 – Bowen 53)
Hull 0-1 Blackburn (Williams 62)
Hull 1-3 Bristol City (Bowen 44 – Afobe 40, 80, Burke og 78)
Millwall 1-1 Hull (Wallace pen 10 – Grosicki 17)
Hull 2-2 Wigan (Bowen 10, Grosicki 20 – Dunckley 8, Gelhardt 75)
Luton 0-3 Hull (Stewart 63, 90, Grosicki 87)
Hull 2-2 Cardiff (Grosicki 44, De Wijs 89 – Glatzel 55, Ward 90)
Hull 1-0 Sheff Wed (Eaves 72)
Huddersfield 3-0 Hull (Grant 68, Bacuna 74, Kachunga 82)
Hull 2-3 QPR (Bowen 29, Magennis 90 – Manning 44, Eze pen 78, pen 88)
Forest 1-2 Hull (Cash 52 – Magennis 38, Bowen 48)
Hull 2-0 Derby (Bowen 74, 80)
Fulham 0-3 Hull (Bowler 9, Bowen 57, Eaves 84)
Hull 0-1 West Brom (Livermore 28)
Middlesbrough 2-2 Hull (Tavernier 7, Fletcher 26 - Eaves 71, Bowen 75)
Hull 4-0 Preston (Bowen 30, 77, Magennis pen 48, Grosicki 51)
Barnsley 3-1 Hull (Mowatt 23, Bahre 75, Chaplin 90 – Lewis-Potter 81)
Hull 2-1 Stoke (Bowen 49, 56 – Vokes 7)
Leeds 2-0 Hull (De Wijs og 73, Alioski 82)
Charlton 2-2 Hull (Pratley 34, Sarr 50 – Bowen 47, Phillips og 90)
Hull 3-0 Birmingham (Eaves 45, Grosicki 58, Lewis-Potter 88)
Hull 0-2 Forest (Grabban pen 11, 82)

Grant McCann looked a bit of a cheap option to me in the summer but seems to ave done alright, how do you think he's done?

When McCann came in he adopted a high pressing, unrelenting style and we played our football higher up the pitch. This came at a consequence however, conceding sloppy goals especially against QPR and Bristol City. But with the players at our disposal, McCann has adapted our style and we’ve become one of the league’s best counter attacking sides with the pace we possess on the break. To answer your question, I’m very pleased with how McCann has done so far. He’s raised expectations, inspired the Allam’s to back him and answered the critics.

Hull's ownership situation is notorious - any sign of a new buyer, first of all, and secondly any sign of the Allams being slightly less dickish?

Ownership troubles have plagued the club for years, however there have been positive signs that suggest that Allam’s are attempting to build bridges with the supporters. In the past year, they’ve allowed a fan panel to design the badge (putting the name back onto it) introduced an improved ticket scheme and offered half price ticketing vs Derby. They’ve also developed the youth system and kept our best players in a window for the first time in years. In a recent interview Assam Allam said that Jarrod Bowen won’t be for sale and a bid of £20m wouldn’t tempt him to sell. The fact he’s attempting to build bridges with supporters and keep our valuable assets, tells me that a potential takeover is in the pipeline. This is just a rumour at this stage, much like the previous five years.

I find the lack of firm interest in Bowen incredible - do you expect him to stay through this January? Looks a cut above...

Me, and many other supporters were surprised when the window slammed shut and Bowen remained a Hull City player last summer. I don’t think he’ll leave in January, but I do think he’ll depart in the summer. Though, a bid of 25 million+ could tempt the Allam’s to sell.

Any likely incomings? I've seen Jack Marriott mentioned...

Jack Marriott has been heavily linked due to his links with McCann from his Peterborough days. He’s was also born in Beverley, a town near Hull which could be a deciding factor too. In the summer we wanted Mallik Wilks but Barnsley won his signature, there have been rumours that were interested in him again. A loan for Herbie Kane, a 21-year-old midfielder from Liverpool, is a likely signing after McCann had him on loan at Doncaster last season.

Ins: Matt Ingram, 25, GK, QPR, £400k >>> George Honeyman, 24, AM, Sunderland, £396k >>> Callum Elder, 24, LB, Leicester, Undisclosed >>> Leonardo Da Silva Lopes, CM, Wigan, Undisclosed >>> Ryan Tafazolli, 27, CB, Peterborough, Free >>> Tom Eaves, 27, CF, Gillingham, Free >>> Josh Magennis 28, CF/GK, Bolton, Free >>> Josh Bowler, 20, RW, Everton, Loan >>> Matthew Pennington, 24, CB, Everton, Loan

Outs: Evandro, 32, AM, Santos (Brazil), Free >>> Callum Burton, 22, GK, Cambridge, Free >>> David Marshall 34, GK, Wigan, Free >>> Liam Ridgwell, 35, CB, Southend, Free >>> Will Keane, 26, Alleged CF, Ipswich, Free >>> James Weir, 23, LM, Bolton, Free >>> Ondrej Mazuch, 30, CB, Released >>> Fraizer Campbel, CF, Huddersfield, Free >>> Max Sheaf, 19, CM, Cheltenham, Loan >>> Nouha Dicko, 27, CF, Vitesse, Loan >>> Sean McLaughlin, 22, CB, St Mirren, Loan

Stand out players and weak links in the side?

The main standout is obviously Jarrod Bowen, but Jordy De Wijs at the back often doesn’t get enough mentions - he is consistently solid. Grosicki, on his day, is one of the best wide men in the league. Leo Da Silva Lopes is an exciting prospect in central midfield with his energy and silky footwork.

A weak link in the side is in central attacking midfield, we’ve missed Jon Toral, and Jackson Irvine has been on a poor run of form. Our strikers have struggled to make an impact this season too, Tom Eaves is beginning to perform better but he’s still come unstuck in front of goal.

Expectations for the rest of the season?

For the rest of the season, I expect us to flirt in between mid-table and the play offs. We haven’t quite got the consistently to put together a run of form to get into the top six, unless we hold onto Jarrod Bowen and new signings hit the ground running. I think we’ll finish eighth.

Links >>> Official Website >>> Hull Daily Mail – Local Paper >>> The Amber View – Blog >>> Reciprocal interview - Blog >>> Tigerlink – Blog >>> Amber Nectar – Blog and Forum >>> Not606 – Forum >>> Ground Guide

The Twitter @TAVHull, @TomGriff87, @loftforwords

Pictures – Action Images

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TacticalR added 22:55 - Dec 28
Thanks to Tom.

Even when Hull were not playing well they had players like Bowen and Grosicki who could pull something out of a hat, so I am not surprised they've got some decent results when everybody is on song.

'Will Keane, 26, Alleged CF'. Forward allegedly, offside certainly.

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