Meet the opposition: Hull City
As Swansea City prepare to travel to face Hull City on Saturday, we take a closer look at the Tigers.
What’s their story?
The Tigers are in their second season back in the Championship following their relegation from the top-flight in 2017, where Swansea overhauled them during their late-season revival under Paul Clement.
That brought an end to the East Yorkshire club’s third stint in the Premier League, having first reached those heights under Phil Brown courtesy of a play-off final victory over Bristol City – and a certain Lee Trundle – at Wembley in 2008.
That completed a remarkable rise from the bottom tier to the top in just five years, the third-fastest climb of its kind.
Only John Toshack’s Swansea City and Wimbledon’s ‘Crazy Gang’ had managed the feat in less time.
Further promotions followed in 2013 and 2016, the first via the runners-up spot in the second tier and the latter via another play-off success, while they have not played outside the top two divisions since the 2004-05 season.
They claim closest to winning a major honour in 2014, where they led Arsenal 2-0 in the FA Cup final, only to succumb to a 3-2 defeat after extra-time.
How’s their form?
After finishing 18th in the Championship last term, it has not been an easy start to the current campaign for Nigel Adkins’ side.
They won just two of their first 14 games but they have been on an upward curve in recent weeks.
They have won four of their last eight league fixtures, losing just once during that sequence, and face the Swans on the back of a 2-0 home win against Brentford courtesy of a brace from topscorer Fraizer Campbell.
That result has left them 17th in the table, five points clear of the relegation zone and 12 off the play-off places.
Who’s the boss?
Nigel Adkins has been in charge of Hull since succeeding ex-Russia boss Leonid Slutsky in December of 2017.
Having spent time in Liverpool’s youth set-up the former goalkeeper played for Tranmere and Wigan Athletic before cutting his coaching teeth as player-manager of Bangor City, helping the Citizens to two League of Wales titles between 1993 and 1996.
He earned a degree in physiotherapy from the University of Salford and took up a role in that area with Scunthorpe.
He took over as manager at Glanford Park in 2006, and would twice lead The Iron to promotion to the Championship before moving back down to League One with Southampton in 2010.
His stint at St Mary’s took the south-coast club up to the Championship and then the Premier League, only for Adkins to be sacked in January 2013 and replaced by Mauricio Pochettino.
He had short spells with Reading and Sheffield United, before being handed the reins at the KCOM Stadium.
Who are the key men?
Fraizer Campbell has been the main attacking threat for Hull so far this season, racking up eight goals including six in his last seven appearances.
He has featured in all bar one of the Tigers’ Championship outings this season and the nous and experience of the former Manchester United forward have proved a major asset.
His fellow forward Jarrod Bowen is another man to watch out for; the 21-year-old was Hull’s player of the season for 2017-18 as he scored 15 goals in all competitions, and has six to his name this term.
There is also a familiar face for Swans fans in the form of left-back Stephen Kingsley, who made the move to the KCOM Stadium in August 2017 as part of the deal bringing Sam Clucas the other way.
The Scotland international made his return against Brentford following six weeks out with a hip problem, while Hull also have injury concerns over Reece Burke and Eric Lichaj.