Sting in the end of confusing Hull City and Steve Bruce tale?

Truth be told, there are probably seven teams still locked in the Premier League relegation dogfight.

steve bruce hull city

West Bromwich Albion may not have done enough to relax just yet but, with the wily Tony Pulis at the helm, you get the feeling that they will be there soon. 

Aston Villa are also showing positive signs under Tim Sherwood and will be confident that, having struggled to get out of reverse for much of the campaign, they still have a few gears to go through.

That, then, means that five must go into three.

The intriguing thing about this tussle, at this stage, is that the quintet with the most to sweat about are separated by just four points.

A couple of positive results and the whole situation changes. The fact that Queens Park Rangers (displaying signs of fight) have played a game more than their fellow basement dwellers, and Leicester City (very much back in the mix) one game less, must also be taken into account.

It is a situation that is virtually impossible to call at present, and that probably goes some way to explaining why football betting markets are finding it so hard to split those in the heat of battle.

That being said, it speaks volumes about that state of play at Hull City that many – including the bookmakers – are starting to seriously question their top-flight credentials.

After consolidating relatively comfortably last season, while reaching the FA Cup final, expectation levels around the KC Stadium understandably rose last summer.

From boardroom to the terraces, further progress was expected – with Steve Bruce handed the funds with which to build on the foundations he had helped to put down.

Unfortunately, it appears as though the Tigers were building on shifting sand, with there every chance that their hopes and dreams will be washed away by the Humber and out into the North Sea.

There has been plenty to forget in East Yorkshire this season – from Hatem Ben Arfa to Abel Hernandez via some truly fear-inducing showings on the field.

For Hull, their owners and supporters, there is also the questionable actions surrounding their manager to factor in.

Bruce has never got his side going this season yet, just a few weeks ago, it was announced that he had agreed to an extension to his contract.

While commendable in some ways to see the club sticking with the man who has carried them this far – in an era of ever-sharpened axes and a penchant for quick fixes – you have to question the logic behind that decision.

Bruce’s Premier League C.V. is not the best and he is yet to – at least from the outside looking in – offer any kind of indication that he is capable of turning this sinking ship around. 

Although he has shown some fighting spirit…

He is a likeable character, open with the media and committed to his post, but Hull need more

than that.

They now have just six games in which to save their season and cement a standing among English football’s elite – with four of them pitching them into battle against Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United.

They also have a rejuvenated Crystal Palace to face next time out, with a home date against Burnley on May 9 taking on added importance by the day.

Of those 18 points left to play for, it is difficult to see the Tigers getting more than five.

That would only take them to 33 for the season – a troublingly low tally and one which suggests that, unlike many of those around them, rather than keeping faith with Bruce and sticking their head in the sand, the opportunity to freshen things up and save their skin may have passed them by and is about to deliver the most painful, and costly, of consequences.

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