Behind Enemy Lines: Hull City

MILLWALL are aiming for their first win since October 27 when Hull City visit The Den this weekend.

Hull have won three of their six games since then, to move from 23rd to 19th in the Championship table and ease the pressure on boss Nigel Adkins.

Lucas Ball spoke to Hull fan Mark Bradley this week.

Why do you support Hull?

I was born in Hull and my Grandpa and my Dad supported them so I followed in their footsteps.

What’s been your favourite season following the Tigers?

I think it has to be the 2013-14 season. We somehow managed to secure Europa League qualification for the following season, while getting to an FA Cup final where we lost 3-2 to Arsenal.  We finished 16th, our highest ever Premier League finish.

It was some season.

How about the worst campaign?

I’ve been supporting the club since 2008 and we’ve only had good things to say about the club since then.

Last year was the worst season for us since I’ve been a supporter so I’d probably have to say that

Not only do they face off this weekend, but the two sides have also been drawn against each other in the third round of the FA Cup. What are your thoughts on that draw?

I was happy about getting an away draw as that’s what you always look for in the FA Cup.

I was disappointed that it was Millwall as we’re visiting your place just a month before, and I’d have preferred a League One or Two side.

With that being said, I no longer live in Hull and it’s costing me £100 to make the trip to The Den this weekend, so it’s going to cost another fortune for the FA Cup tie.

This season has been a difficult one for both sides so far – do you expect both to be in a relegation dogfight come the end of the year?

As much as I’d like to say no, I think we both will be somewhere down there. It’s a really difficult league with some great sides in it.

What has been the cause of Hull’s struggles?

I think the obvious answer is the owners. They’ve hung the club out to dry and with mass selling during summer transfer windows, it’s left the manager trying to gel a totally brand new squad and it’s proved fairly difficult thus far.

Is Nigel Adkins the right man to guide them to safety?

A lot of our fans will probably say no, but due to our recent form I genuinely think he can. I personally think that this side is too good to go down, but time will tell

Similar to the Lions last season, goals seem to be at a premium – where do the Tigers need to strengthen in January to remedy that and any other issues?

I’m worried about Aston Villa recalling centre-back Tommy Elphick. He’s been absolutely brilliant since we got him on loan, and I’m hoping we can make it permanent.

We’ve had a whole host of injuries to the back four, so maybe need to bring in another left-back and a centre-half.

Adkins’ side have scored six goals in their last two away games, picking up four points in the process. Do you expect that good run to continue given Millwall’s current injury woes?

I don’t think you’ll like the answer to this, but yes. The Den is always a difficult place to go and try and get a result – we witnessed that first hand last season with a 0-0 draw – but I think we can take the three points home to East Yorkshire on Saturday afternoon.

Which of Adkins’ men will pose the greatest threat on Saturday?

I think there’s a number of players that will cause a big threat.

We’ve got Frazier Campbell who’s been scoring for fun; Jarrod Bowen who got two in his last game against QPR; and Kamil Grosicki who is a player that “half of Europe” wanted, according to Norwich City’s manager. We’ve got the attacking situation sorted – as long as they’re on their game.

Likewise, who from the home side do you see as a danger man?

In terms of a danger man, I’d probably have to say Steve Morison. He’s always in the right place at the right time to poke the ball home – he did exactly that in your play-off final victory.

What are your thoughts on Neil Harris?

If I were to judge him off this season alone, with you sat in 22nd place, it wouldn’t be brilliant. However, Harris got you promoted and he’s been a decent manager for you overall.

If you could sign one of his players, who would it be and why?

I’d go for Tom Bradshaw. He’s a decent striker who knows where the net is and I’d definitely take him at City

What’s the likely formation and line-up?

I think we’ll go for a 4-2-3-1 formation, or something similar.

Marshall; Lichaj, Burke, Elphick, McKenzie; Henriksen, Batty; Bowen, Irvine, Grosicki; Campbell.

How long is the trip for you to The Den on Saturday?

Like I said before, I no longer live in Hull which makes getting to games a thousand times harder, but I’ll be there.

Will add up to some 750 miles once I’m back home!

Finally, a score prediction?

I honestly think we can keep our form up, and I’ll go with a 2-1 City – Bowen and Campbell the scorers.

Image: Millwall FC