Buoyant Hull ready for FA Cup final preview

Posted by John Brewin

Hull boss Steve Bruce celebrates promotion from the stands at the KC StadiumPA PhotosSteve Bruce celebrates promotion back to the Premier League.

Ever since Steve Bruce was Manchester United captain in the early 1990s, he has used a phrase for trips to Wembley. After Sunday’s FA Cup semifinal victory over Sheffield United, the Hull City manager will be “smelling the hot dogs” at least once more. Before that, Premier League safety is the target and a positive result in Sunday’s dress rehearsal with Arsenal can confirm it.

Bruce’s achievements in following last season’s promotion from the Championship have won the admiration of Gunners boss Arsene Wenger. Continue Reading...

Cup final dream now a reality for Hull City

Posted by Philip Buckingham

"Think you're dreaming?" asked an advertising wagon from Hull City's sponsors doing laps of Wembley during the build-up to Sunday's FA Cup semifinal. "Well think again," came the answer beneath.

A Yorkshire derby in the capital against Sheffield United was one of those occasions when it needed spelling out. A day to disbelieve, to pinch yourself incessantly. But at the end of 90 captivating minutes, the reality was very simple: Hull City had reached the FA Cup final.

- Report: Hull City 5-3 Sheffield United

After 110 years of envying others in the spotlight, the Tigers will compete in the first showpiece final in their history on May 17. Continue Reading...

Destiny awaits Hull City in FA Cup

Posted by Philip Buckingham

Scott Heavey/Getty ImagesHull City hope to be doing more celebrating this weekend in their FA Cup semifinal versus Sheffield United.

Four days after Hull City's history was preserved at Wembley, there comes a gilded chance for it be dramatically enhanced back on the very same spot.

The FA Cup semifinal against Sheffield United on Sunday brings the curtain down on an unprecedented week in the life and times of Hull City. It was almost the end of that very title when the Football Association voted on an application to become known as Hull Tigers on Wednesday, but 27,000 supporters will march back to Wembley this weekend under the same treasured 110-year-old banner. Continue Reading...

Win over Swans would all but assure Hull's safety

Posted by Philip Buckingham

Steve Bruce began counting down from 10 the moment Hull City notched their first Premier League win of the season against Norwich City in August. Nine went to eight, seven, six and five by early December, and down from four, three, two and one through winter and into spring.

Now they just needs one more victory to meet that 10-win target for survival. One more step over the finishing line. City's recent progress might have been statuesque following defeats at West Ham United and Stoke City, but now comes the chance to conclude their success story at home to Swansea City. Continue Reading...

Bruce deserving of praise after another Hull win

Posted by Philip Buckingham

Awards season is upon the football world and there is one man in East Yorkshire compiling an unlikely case for honours. Steve Bruce, the unfashionable leader of an unfashionable club, must surely warrant consideration for the Manager of the Year prize.

No doubt it will eventually be presented to Jose Mourinho, Manuel Pellegrini or Brendan Rodgers, the three big hitters at the summit of the Premier League. Even Tony Pulis may be in with a shout should Crystal Palace complete a miraculous survival. Continue Reading...

Hull hope Long makes former club pay

Posted by Philip Buckingham

Tony Marshall/Getty ImagesShane Long spent two-and-a-half seasons with West Brom before joining Hull City in January.

"West Brom's loss has certainly been our gain," said Hull City boss Steve Bruce this week. More an endorsement of his own business acumen than a criticism of West Brom's, but Bruce remains convinced he landed a January bargain in forward Shane Long.

Bruce can only hope Long proves him right on a weekend where the stakes climb steeply. Hull's home game with West Brom will provide one team with immense belief of survival and inject doubt into the other. The Premier League table suggests there is little between the clubs -- just two points after 29 games of the season -- but Long will aim to make a big difference in a first reunion with the Baggies. Continue Reading...

Hull fail to make most of ten-man opportunity vs. Man City

Posted by Philip Buckingham

Where to start the post-mortem of Manchester City's visit to the KC Stadium: the diving, the spitting or the head butt? Accusations of all three came within seconds of one another as Hull City's George Boyd clashed with Man City goalkeeper Joe Hart but, in truth, provided little more than a spicy sub-plot to an annoyingly bland afternoon for Hull City.

Despite facing 10 men for 80 minutes after Vincent Kompany's early dismissal, the Tigers lacked the creativity and finesse to make their numerical advantage count. Continue Reading...

Hull are off to Wembley

Posted by Philip Buckingham

Hull City fans stage a pitch invasion to celebrate reaching Wembley in the semifinals of the FA Cup.GettyImagesHull City fans stage a pitch invasion to celebrate reaching Wembley in the semifinals of the FA Cup.

There are some things in life you never quite expected to hear. Those statements too far-fetched and fanciful. But here's one to digest: Manchester United's Premier League date at home to Hull City next month has been postponed due to the Tigers' involvement in the FA Cup semifinals at Wembley.

A club more accustomed to embarrassment in this famous old competition, losing to the likes of Kettering, Hednesford and Crawley in the last 20 years, has set up its greatest FA Cup since 1930 following a cocksure victory over Sunderland on Sunday. Continue Reading...

Hull out to exorcise quarterfinal demons

Posted by Philip Buckingham

ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty ImagesHull City's last FA Cup quarterfinal appearance ended in a late 2-1 loss to Arsenal.

The last time East Yorkshire played host to an FA Cup quarter-final, Gordon Banks was the visiting goalkeeper. No, really. Not since Hull City lost 3-2 to Stoke City in March 1971 have the Tigers been this close to a FA Cup semi-final on home soil.

- Report: Pardew fined for Meyler headbutt

Sunderland's visit to the KC Stadium on Sunday is a tie some City supporters have waited 43 years for. Only once, in 2009 when losing 2-1 at Arsenal, has an FA Cup adventure stretched this far. Continue Reading...

Hodgson selections unpopular with Hull faithful

Posted by Philip Buckingham

Chris Brunskill/Getty ImagesAt 28, Curtis Davies' chances of playing in a World Cup for England look to be slim following his omission from Roy Hodgson's latest roster.

And so an interminable wait for a first cap drags on for Curtis Davies. Roy Hodgson's 30-man England squad to face Denmark next week again found no place for Hull City's in-form defender and, along with team-mates Tom Huddlestone and Jake Livermore, he can now begin planning his summer holidays without fear of a late call for Brazil. The dream, no matter how faint it began, is surely over.

A penny for Davies' thoughts following Thursday's all-too-predictable squad announcement. Continue Reading...

Survival in sight for Tigers following Cardiff romp

Posted by Philip Buckingham

After the famine of January has come the feast of February. And, with 11 games to go, Hull City are emerging through the demanding months of winter with Premier League survival back within their grasp.

If a stuttering start to 2014 had Steve Bruce worried, the City boss can sleep easily once more. Seven points from four games inside the last month has quickly repaired the damage sustained during a barren January and Saturday's 4-0 victory at Cardiff City brought optimism flooding back. Continue Reading...

Momentum with Hull heading into Cardiff clash

Posted by Philip Buckingham

Gareth Copley/Getty ImagesPaul McShane and Hull City faced this weekend's opponents, Cardiff City, in a memorable clash to close the 2012-13 Championship season.

When Hull City meet up with Cardiff City, a club that has mirrored its advances up the Football League, it is a fixture that tends to have a lot riding on it.

On the penultimate weekend of the 2006-07 season, it was a game that dramatically sealed the Tigers' Championship status. Dean Windass' scrambled winner at Ninian Park was the goal that kept Phil Brown's side up and sent Yorkshire rivals Leeds United down into League One.

Six years on and the prize was even greater. Continue Reading...