Home > Football > My time at….Hull City. Part 2. Inconsistency and ‘Who stole my money ?’

My time at….Hull City. Part 2. Inconsistency and ‘Who stole my money ?’

My first day at training was a bit of a shock to the system. We changed and trained at Boothferry Park. Having showered and changed I realised that my wallet had some money missing from it. I really wasn’t sure what to do. My first thought was that the lads were doing it as some kind of initiation ceremony. Was it a test? I had to report it though. Adam Pearson was great and refunded the money in to my wages. He didn’t have to do that but it shows the mark of the man. Peter Taylor addressed the dressing room the following day and it became apparent that Alan Fettis, another recent signing, had some money missing too from the same day. Very weird.

Nobody ever got to the bottom of it though and, at that time, anybody could have wondered in to the stadium and gone through our belongings while we were training. Personally, I always felt that one of the young scholars could have done it. I have no proof whatsoever so could be way off the mark but I left my wallet and phone in my car from then on.

My home debut was at home to York City. A home derby but a crowd of 18,000 was still very impressive, especially at League 2 level. I had a great chance to score and become an instant favourite but a great save from close range put pay to that.

A 0-0 home draw was enough to be booed at the end of the game. I had signed at a time when Hull City were not in the best run of form and I must admit that my fitness was not as good as it could have been. The last few matches at Northampton had been postponed due to bad weather so I arrived at Hull having only played one match in the previous month or so.

I got it together after a few matches and it was away to Scunthorpe United that I managed to score my first goal for The Tigers. This was always a big game for both clubs. A full house and a return of a former player meant that I was booed each time I touched the ball for the whole of the match. I was expecting a reaction like this but it wasn’t particularly a nice one to take.

However, my goal did get me off the mark but we lost the game. Mixed feelings.

Our form was pretty poor. It seemed like the KC Stadium was not the fortress that everybody hoped. Lincoln City came and took all 3 points at around that time. We were awful that afternoon and were booed off the pitch. A comfortable victory away at Carlisle took the pressure off a little bit but our home form was nowhere near good enough.  This was a case of the club being too big for some of the players. Everybody likes to play in front of the big crowds but not everybody can live up to the expectations of the large numbers of supporters that were turning up at the KC. It is different at the higher levels of our game, players are more used to the big occasion, but many of the squad at that time were used to playing in front of only a few thousand. 18,000, now that is a whole new ball game to many lower league players. It is great if you are an away team coming to visit. Nothing too much is expected and if you keep them quiet and get the crowd to turn against them then you never know. And that’s what was happening.

Players were hiding in matches. When I say ‘hiding’ I mean that they were not fully making themselves available to receive the ball. It is a sub-conscious thing that happens. You can be scared to make a mistake so instead of making that run you stand still. It is just for that split second or that half a yard but it makes all of the difference. It is most noticeable when a team scores a goal. They suddenly start knocking the ball around and look a completely different team. This is because the confidence levels have risen and players push themselves harder to get on the ball. If this happens with all 11 players you can see how this makes such a difference. This was not happening with us at that time.

After a number of games I felt like my fitness was improving. Shrewsbury at the KC was the game where I broke my foot and missed the rest of the season. I tried to turn sharply in the box to get a shot off when my foot stuck in the pitch and that was that. Not a great deal of pain but a break is a break and needs time to heal. I think I missed the last 6 weeks or so of the season. I would have missed more matches had the injury occurred during the middle of the season as it took most of the summer to heal.

No injury comes at a good time but it clearly was not a positive thing for my career. It allowed Peter Taylor to bring in not only one, but two strikers for the pre-season of the 2003/04. To be honest he may well have done so even without my injury. I had not really lived up to my billing and Peter always had money to spend on players.

Danny Allsop and Ben Burgess were brought in and it immediately became clear that they were first choice. I can’t really complain too much. They both had great seasons and formed a very potent partnership. It seemed that one of them, if not both, scored each game. They complimented each other so well. It was a bit of a revolving door at that time. It was before the transfer window came in and it seemed that new players could come in at any time. A week before the season began Carlisle United came in for me. Peter Taylor said that I was free to leave which confirmed that I was not in his first team plans as much as I wanted to be. It seemed like I had only been there 5 minutes so I turned that one down. The family hadn’t even moved up from Northampton at that stage. The sale of our house there fell through which meant that it was not an ideal time to be on the move again.

Categories: Football
  1. fossil
    October 14, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    All players speak about confidence. Surely it is just an excuse for a bad run of form.

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