Ahead of Sunday's Emirates FA Cup Second Round match against Hull City, we spoke to Barry Cooper of Hull Live for the latest on the Tigers...
- Has Hull City’s season been as impressive as it looks on paper?
"I think the start has surprised many observers, purely based on the way in which City fell apart in the second half of last season which ultimately ended in relegation. The way in which Grant McCann has gone about lifting spirits is worthy of commendation, and the application his players have shown is also hugely impressive.
"In truth, many of their wins have been surprisingly comfortable with the three league defeats coming largely because of their own errors, rather than being outplayed by better teams.
"If their standard of performance continues it would be difficult to envisage anybody in League One having the tools to stop them."
- How important is the FA Cup to Hull in the grand scheme of things?
"Naturally, promotion is everything for the club this season. That said, the FA Cup and EFL Trophy is giving McCann the chance to utilise what is a very good squad, with plenty of depth. While some would complain about the incessant amount of games, McCann is keen to get his fringe players playing games so they're fit and ready to step into the team when required.
"Let's not forget that the prize money is useful for every club given the perilous state of football club finances, especially during Covid."
- Who has been the club’s stand-out player so far this season?
"That's a tough one, because there have been a few. Josh Emmanuel has been a revelation, Jacob Greaves is a young talent that has done superbly well, Mallik Wilks and Josh Magennis, but for me, it would be George Honeyman.
"His performances have been superb on the whole, and everything that the team does goes through him - his importance to the team was once again highlighted in midweek."
- How big of an upset would it be if Stevenage were to progress to the next round?
"I think it would be a fairly big shock. City have the best away record in League One and that was enhanced with Tuesday night's 3-0 win at previously unbeaten Ipswich Town. Stevenage are obviously having their own difficulties, so anything other than a victory for the Tigers would be a shock, and probably the biggest shock of Round Two given the positions of both clubs."
- Finally, what’s your score prediction?
"While this is something of a free-hit for Stevenage, I find it hard to see anything other than a fairly comfortable City win. 2-0. Now, I've probably cursed it..."