Hull City take on Premier League outfit Newcastle United tomorrow night at the KCOM (7.45 KO) as they step up their preparations for their Championship opener v Aston Villa on August 6th.
As tends to be the way with City nowadays pre-season has been far from plain sailing so far. They began their friendlies with a 2-1 win over Maritimo before going down 4-1 to Braga as the club completed their pre-season camp in Portugal. On their return to England, City travelled to Spotland on Saturday where they succumbed to a late goal from Joe Rafferty.
After a very slow start recruitment wise Nigel Adkins has been able to bring in several new faces over the last couple of weeks. City have bolstered their defensive ranks thanks to the signing of Eric Lichaj, the clubs first summer signing, who has since been joined at the KCOM by Reece Burke, Jordy de Wijs, Chelsea loanee Todd Kane and Goalkeeper George Long from Sheffield United.
While City’s defence is now looking relatively strong it is the goal scoring department that needs work. Winger David Milinkovic has joined from Genoa after spending last season at Hearts but that is about it as far as it goes in terms of forward acquisitions. Adkins is still active in the market but has been frustrated as bids for Oliver Norwood, Jiri Skalak and Conor Townsend have all been rejected. Whether the Allams stump up more funds to get any of these deals over the line remains to be seen.
Looking ahead to the game tomorrow this will be a good test for City against Premier League opposition. It’s the first chance the majority of City fans will get to have a look at the side ahead of the new season and Adkins will be keen to see his side improve on the defeat to Rochdale at the weekend. As we know you can’t read anything into friendlies but everyone likes to win and it will be a boost to the side if they can overcome Newcastle. The season proper is just a couple of weeks away now and I’m sure we are all keen to see the side get into a rhythm ahead of the Villa game.
Jon Toral won’t feature again tomorrow night. After scoring the winning goal against Maritimo and featuring against Braga the Spaniard sat out the Rochdale game and will be missing again against Newcastle. Meanwhile last year’s star man Jarrod Bowen is touch and go to feature tomorrow but should be ready for the season opener in early August.
Our July 2018 issue of the FanaticHull City fanzine will be on sale from the usual spots around the ground tomorrow. 40 pages of independent City content for just £2. You can also secure your copy online by following this link.