Steve Bruce is refusing to get carried away by Hull City’s start to the season, and has pointed at the club’s recent history as the reason why.
The Tigers earned promotion to the Premier League after finishing second to Cardiff City in the Championship last term, and they have made an impressive return to the top-flight. Having overcome an opening weekend loss at Chelsea, they have won three of their last five matches, and are now in eighth position and level on points with Manchester City and three ahead of the stuttering reigning champions Manchester United.
Bruce will hope to further add to City’s points tally when Aston Villa visit on Saturday, but even if the home side record another victory, he is unlikely to get carried away. For whilst the 52-year-old accepts his players have made a fine start to the campaign, he is also quick to remind them of the 2008/09 season under Phil Brown, when Hull won six of their opening nine matches before avoiding relegation by just one point.
“We have a made a wonderful start, but that’s all it is,” said the Tigers manager. “The history of our club the last time we were here is that we did great until Christmas and the following 18 months after that must have been torture, agony. So we’ve had a good start – really good – but we’ve only played six games and there are 32 more to go.”
Villa, meanwhile, travel to the KC Stadium on the back of their 3-2 home win against Manchester City last weekend. So Paul Lambert’s side will not be short of confidence, and Bruce’s men will also have to negotiate their way past the Midlands outfit with the services of captain Robert Koren, defender James Chester, and top goalscorer Robbie Brady, who have been ruled out with foot, hamstring and hernia problems respectively.