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First Team News

In Focus: Hull City

18 June 2021

With fixture release day now less than a week away, we are taking a closer look at the six new teams which will be taking part in the 2021/22 Championship campaign.

The clubs to have dropped down from the Premier League are Sheffield United, Fulham and West Brom, while returning to the Championship are PNE’s Lancashire rivals Blackpool, as well as Peterborough United and Hull City.

It's the latter which we're taking a closer look at in the first edition of our ‘In Focus’ feature.

2020/21 season

Following relegation from the Championship in the 2019/20 campaign, promotion at the first time of asking was always the goal for Hull City.

That is not always straightforward, though, as many teams have learned over the years, but the Tigers got the job done, accumulating 89 points over the course of the campaign to put them at the top of the table.

11 victories in their first 14 League One matches got the ball rolling and, barring a poor month in December, Hull showed their quality to beat Peterborough United to the league title.

Their strength at both ends of the pitch proved vital, too, with their defence conceding just 38 goals in the 46 league games, while they scored 80 goals at the other end of the pitch.

Star man

Given their brilliant year, there was plenty of competition for the club’s Player of the Year award, so it says something about just how influential George Honeyman was that he was voted POTY by his manager, his team-mates and also the supporters.

The 26-year-old playmaker had the best campaign of his career with the Tigers, assisting 13 goals for his peers on top of the four he scored himself in the league.

Often playing alongside Greg Docherty in midfield, the former Sunderland man was crucial to his side’s success, so much so that he was nominated for the division’s Player of the Year award.

Next season will not be Honeyman’s first in the Championship either, having already featured 84 times in the division, and the midfielder actually has previous against PNE, scoring in a meeting between the Lilywhites and Sunderland back in 2017.

The gaffer

Grant McCann was the man in charge the last time PNE faced Hull and he remains the man in the dugout, having stayed at the club following their relegation from the Championship during his first season in charge.

The club showed their faith in the Northern Irishman and that proved to be a good move, with McCann rejuvenating his squad and leading them straight back to the second tier as champions.

McCann twice came out on top of the division's Manager of the Month award, and he was also named League Managers’ Association League One Manager of the Year at the end of May.

Recent clashes

Since these two teams first met back in 1912, the Lilywhites have had the better of this fixture, winning 28 times compared to Hull's 20 victories, while the two have drawn on 14 occasions.

The last time they faced off against each other was in the 2019/20 season, on three occasions, with the Lilywhites twice coming out on top, whereas Hull won the other encounter with a convincing 4-0 victory.

Aside from that poor showing, North End have had some memorable late moments away at the KCOM in recent years, with Callum Robinson sealing all three points in 2017 with an 88th-minute winner, and Louis Moult rescued a draw in the final moments of the game a year on.

Keep an eye on PNE.Com over the coming days as we continue to take a look at the promoted and relegated teams taking part in next year's Championship.

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