Our search for Hull City experts this week took us to Amber Nectar, a blog, fanzine, forum, and general everything-you-could-need for Tigers fans. City have had a long history, but it's gotten really interesting in the past 10 years. We talked to Andy Dalton, editor of Amber Nectar, to get his opinions on the club's historic rise through the leagues, their recent slump, and what comes next.In 2008, Hull completed their ascent from the bottom of the Football League to the top in just 5 seasons, which is the 3rd fastest ever. Was this a happy surprise for Hull fans, or did you feel this is where the club belonged all along?
Andy Dalton: City fans are nothing if not realistic, having had the harsh realities of life concussively beaten into us over the decades. We always had a view of ourselves as being about 14th in the second tier, with occasional forays into the third tier. Reaching the top flight after over a hundred years of trying was therefore a shock, but nothing more than we deserved after so many years of underachievement.
Hull spent 2 seasons in the Premiership before getting relegated, largely thanks to the controversial figure of Phil Brown. What do you think his legacy at the club will be?
AD: Phil Brown's legacy is still hotly debated. The genius who took us to Wembley for the first time, took us up, kept us up and won at the Emirates in the meantime; or a cocky chancer who got lucky and spent all the money and has failed everywhere else? His personality rubs up non-City fans the wrong way, and we get that, but there's no doubting that he did something no other manager here has ever done. His legacy, while moderately tainted towards the end, remains an overwhelmingly positive one.
Ex-Sunderland manager, Steve Bruce, was appointed as Hull manager over the summer. How has he changed the club? What are your expectations for him and the upcoming season?
AD: Steve Bruce was a surprising appointment, in that we didn't really expect to get an experienced Premier League manager in. After a depressing summer that saw a local hero needlessly forced out of the manager's job, his arrival very much improved the mood and heightened expectations, which are now for a serious push at the play-offs.
Who would you say are Hull's most dangerous players? What aspects of Hull's game plan will really trouble Bolton?
AD: City's game under Nick Barmby was all about possession, and we could pass sides to death last season. Steve Bruce favours a more robust approach, but has signed Sone Aluko from Rangers, whose pace and tricky look almost impossible to combat at times. If he's given space he can really damage opposing sides.
And finally can I have a prediction?
AD: There've been two goals in our three League games so far, so I wouldn't expect a thriller - City can't score but the defence is formidable. A prediction? The first goal probably wins it, if there is one...
Thanks again to Andy for taking the time to answer our questions! Be sure to check Amber Nectar for all of your Hull City needs.