Date:Saturday February 16 2008
Hull City verses Colchester is a game that caught the eye as soon as the fixtures were published; as one or two news columns have noted, City`s stay in the new Kingston Communications ground echoes what awaits for the Essex club in future.
The two clubs have much history in recent years, what with the U`s cult hero, promotion-winning boss Phil Parkinson, defecting to the club straight after taking Colchester up. Then it was a 5-1 thrashing by this former club at Layer Road last season which infectively lost Parky his job.
After the U`s great first season in the Championship, Richard Garcia and Wayne Brown then both controversially swapped U`s stripes for Hull colours... does the game need any more added spice?
Vital Colchester spoke to Vital Hull ahead of the game:
1) We`ve put it off for as long as possible this season, but Colchester must at last face Hull. Three points - who wants them more?
Both sides need the points and I imagine both want the points but obviously for very different reasons. Colchester are in the relegation scrap this season and Hull are pushing for the play-off`s. It seems that the two clubs have had their roles reversed from last season..
2) U`s fans will be able to see at least one of last season`s heroes, in Wayne Brown, playing in a Hull kit.
What have you made of him since he arrived, and after a reportedly shaky start? Will Richard Garcia be in the squad?
Wayne Brown has been a very astute signing, and for only £450,000 he has been a great buy. I must admit, I was not very impressed when we first signed him but apart from a lack of pace, you can`t really fault the defender. His partnership with Michael Turner is very solid and that has been the base of our success this season.
He`s also captained the side on a few occasions this season and he is an obvious leader, something that we need at the back and he organises well. Richard Garcia has been in fine form this season but he will not feature on Saturday as he is back in Australia on compassionate grounds. He will be back for our next feature at West Bromwich Albion having missed three league games.
3) Dean Windass is a doubt for the match, but he`ll still going strong. In the Battle of the Oldies, will it be he, or Teddy Sheringham, who poses more of a threat if both start?
Dean Windass has had minor knee surgery and will be out for the next week. Had they both started, I feel Windass would have impressed more. His goal tally shows he still knows where the net is with twelve goals this season, but with Folan and Windass in the team the veteran has to remain on the top of his game to keep his starting place.
4) From the fuss against Blackpool, where Phil Brown is supposed to have slammed his former club and got "into the heads of the officials" during that fixture, to a undercurrent of rivalry with Colchester over the Hull habit of nicking their best staff.
With Hull having taken Craig Fagan and Phil Parkinson, as well as Garcia and Brown, in recent years, what kind of atmosphere will there on Saturday?
There may be a little bit of niggle in the game but I doubt there will be too much. I also doubt the feelings between the side are still there with Parkinson no longer the boss, but it does seem Hull are always trying to sign Colchester`s best players as they make advantage of having the Hull - Colchester transfer embargo lifted.
5) Karl Duguid, the U`s skipper, has admitted this week that "a lot went on" in January as regards interest in him; Hull City and Charlton were among those said to be interested in signing him. How close do you think a deal came between Hull and the U`s over ever-popular Duguid?
I`m not sure how close the deal ever came to being completed but there was plenty of rumour in Hull. In the end, I think we made the right decision in not signing him. Only the player will know how close he was to making the move to the KC Stadium in January (or the Summer).
6) You`ve got a chance of making the top six if you can put together a good run between now and May. What has changed this season to allow the side to push further up the table?
More experience in the squad. The team has finally grown up and realised what is required. Wayne Brown was a huge addition to the defence and Okocha and Pedersen have provided valuable experience. Brining in better strikers such as Folan and Campbell have also helped vastly and we are a much changed side from last season.
7) Colchester badly need the points today to help get away from the drop zone, but what do you think the score will be?
We have strong home record, and providing we score first with an early goal, I feel we will go on to record all three points. I think we will win the game 2-0.
Thanks! May the best team win; good luck for the rest of the season!
Date:Saturday February 16 2008
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