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Mid-season report: Hull City

Mid-season report: Hull City
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Sports Mole takes a closer look at Hull City's opening half to the Championship season.

Having finished eighth in the previous season in the Championship, Hull City boss Steve Bruce had been given the task of finishing inside the playoff positions in the new campaign.

His son Alex Bruce arrived to boost the defensive reinforcements, while David Stockdale was brought in from Fulham to provide Premier League experience between the sticks.

There were no major departures during the summer, although their best piece of business came on the final day of the window as they brought in experienced defender Ahmed Elmohamady from Sunderland.

They struggled in the early stages of the season with their strikers struggling to hit the back of the net, but their form has taken a turn for the better in recent weeks.

Here, Sports Mole takes a closer look at their opening half of the season as they bid to return to the Premier League.

August

Bruce named an experimental side in their first-round League Cup clash against Rotherham United. However, they ensured progress to the latter stages with a penalty shootout victory at the KC Stadium.

They opened their Championship campaign one week later at home to Brighton & Hove Albion, where a late strike from Jay Simpson meant that they had their first three points on the board.

Next came promotion favourites Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park, but they lost out to a solitary goal before drawing away to Charlton Athletic towards the end of the month.

August 28 brought the second round of the League Cup against Doncaster Rovers, but their much-changed outfit were knocked out of the competition courtesy of a 3-2 defeat.

September

September proved to be an impressive month, however, with three wins from their five league fixtures. They welcomed Bolton Wanderers on the opening day and were 3-1 winners before picking up another three points with a 4-1 thumping of Millwall after the international break.

Bruce's side picked up their third consecutive league win as they won away at Leeds United on September 18, but their month ended in disappointment with back-to-back defeats against Leicester City and Peterborough United.

October

October also began with disappointment as they were beaten at home to Blackpool, but back-to-back wins over Sheffield Wednesday and Ipswich Town kept them within the playoff picture.

They were defeated away to an impressive Middlesbrough outfit towards the end of the month, but they made it three wins from their last four with a 2-1 success over Bristol City on October 27.

Bruce's focus towards a solid defence continued to pay dividends as they entered November with their Championship rivals finding it hard to hit the back of the net against the Tigers.

November

They continued their winning run at the beginning of the month against Barnsley, before making it back-to-back home wins against Wolverhampton Wanderers.

A 2-1 defeat followed away to Cardiff City, who themselves were in the higher regions of the table, but a 3-2 win over Birmingham City one week later kept them within the playoff picture.

An impressive couple of months did end on a disappointing note, however, with a 1-0 home defeat to Burnley and a drab goalless draw against Crystal Palace at the end of the month.

December

There is no question that December has been their most impressive month thus far. They opened with a visit to Nottingham Forest, where a late header from Paul McShane ensured the points for Bruce's side.

Next they travelled to Watford, where they raced into a two-goal lead before being pegged back in the latter stages. However, they did enough to hold onto the three points.

They returned to the KC Stadium one week later and it proved to be a happy homecoming as they beat Huddersfield 2-0.

They then faced a tricky trip to Derby County in their final match before Christmas, but made it an incredible sixth consecutive wins on the road with a 2-1 victory, a result that moved them into second spot in the table.

They welcomed Leicester City on Boxing Day, but could not make the breakthrough in front of goal as the points were shared in a 0-0 draw, but they remained in second spot in the table.

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24 46108284070-3038

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