Hull hopes Europa League isn’t a distraction
HULL, England (AP) — Swansea and Newcastle have shown over the last two years that qualifying for the Europa League can be more of a hindrance than a help in the Premier League.
Hull must hope it can buck the trend.
A first foray into European football as the FA Cup runner-up should nevertheless make for an exciting season for Hull’s success-starved fans and manager Steve Bruce has bulked up his squad to cope with the extra fixtures.
Bruce has largely concentrated on strengthening his midfield, with Jake Livermore making his loan stint from Tottenham last season permanent, Robert Snodgrass arriving from Norwich and winger Tom Ince joining from second-tier Blackpool after apparently deciding against a move to Inter Milan.
Hull finished in 16th place last season in its first year back in the top division, four points above the relegation zone, and survival is once again the target.
“You can’t stand still in this league,” Bruce said. “Our job is to make sure we stay here and keep growing the club and making it better.
“Where we are today from two years ago is quite remarkable, but my job is to say what is the next two years, three years about? Managers, players, we all come and go - if you can leave the football club in a really healthy state that’s got to be the aim.”
Bruce will look to January signings Nikica Jelavic and Shane Long for goals.
In: Jake Livermore (Tottenham), Robert Snodgrass (Norwich), Tom Ince (Blackpool)
Out: Matty Fryatt (Nottingham Forest), Abdoulaye Faye, Robert Koren (both released).