East Yorkshire boasts many strong connections to the world of sport these days, thanks to action-packed events like the horse racing held at Beverley and the feats of local heroes such as Olympic gold medal-winning boxer Luke Campbell.
However, for many, the region has a particularly strong association with its biggest football club. Hull City have been through a huge amount in the past few years, enjoying a few ups but also enduring some notable downs as well.
The past few seasons have certainly not gone very well for the Tigers. The club was in the Premier League only a few years ago, but following relegation, they went on to spend time toiling in the notoriously tough Championship.
Unfortunately, things got particularly bad for the club last season, as they won just 12 of their 46 matches and suffered some incredibly devastating results. One which will sadly live long in the memory was the crushing 8-0 defeat at Wigan Athletic, where their opponents put away seven goals in the first half alone.
As the BBC reported, the result equalled the biggest victory ever seen in the Championship, while it was the first time that Hull had conceded that many goals in a league match since November 1911.
Amassing just 45 points in total, the club finished the season at the bottom of the table and were relegated to League One.
Suddenly, the days of playing the likes of Manchester United at the KCOM Stadium seemed like a long time ago. However, as the old saying goes, things can only get better and it has to be said that the future is certainly looking a little bit brighter for Hull City. After all, the side has seemingly taken to life in League One pretty well.
Back on track
At the time of writing, Hull has managed to achieve a 100 per cent record in the league by winning their first four opening fixtures in the division.
? 100% Record…
? Best start in 72 years…
✨ Clean Sheets…
? Resolute Defending…
— Hull City (@HullCity) October 5, 2020
They started their campaign with a 2-0 victory at Gillingham, before then beating Crewe Alexandra 1-0 at home. The team then won 2-0 at Northampton Town and went on to beat Plymouth Argyle by a single goal as well. Not only is that four victories, but it is also four clean sheets.
Such results mean the club have surely laid some solid groundwork for what could be a strong season. As of October 7th, they are priced at 13/2 on Betway to win the division outright with only Sunderland above them. Furthermore, the Tigers also had odds of 15/8 on simply getting promoted back to the Championship, whether that is via the automatic places or through the play-offs.
Of course, while Hull might have started well, there are never any guarantees that a season in League One will be plain sailing.
There are plenty of teams in the division who could cause them some major problems, including a few big clubs who are no strangers to the Premier League themselves. Notable names include Portsmouth, Wigan Athletic, Charlton Athletic, Ipswich Town and Sunderland. The latter’s experiences in League One might well be a cautionary tale for Hull City, as the Black Cats’ recent efforts have shown that it is not easy to escape from that division.
Sunderland were relegated to League One in 2018 and, while they managed to reach the play-off final in their first season in the division, a last-minute goal by Charlton meant that they ultimately failed to secure promotion. Last season, the club managed to finish eighth after the EFL confirmed that teams had voted to curtail the action and end the league early.
Plenty to do
Hull City have clearly started this season well but, as the experiences of sides like Sunderland highlight, they still have plenty to do if they are going to get back into the Championship at the first time of asking.
The club has had a major impact on life in East Yorkshire across the years and hopes will be high among many people that exciting times might just be around the corner once again. It has been an incredibly difficult few years for the Tigers, but could this be the point when they start to get their bite back? We will have to wait and see.
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