Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

After latest loss, Hull City gets blunt: “We need help”

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Hull City players and staff are not being bashful.

Mired in the drop zone and following yet another loss, this one a relegation six-pointer at the hands of hosts Middlesbrough, Tigers were speaking out on the talent at the KC Stadium.

[ MORE: Match recap ]

Manager Mike Phelan said “hopefully” there will be action by the club in the January transfer window, as the club continues its quest to stay in the Premier League.

Phelan said the club is lacking “firepower”, and veteran defender Charlie Davies put it even more plainly.

From the BBC:

“We need help. We made signings in the summer and they have done their bit but they were all last-minute. We are thin up top and we need someone who can put the ball in the net.”

Hull went through a mess during the summer, with player acquisition problematic and manager Steve Bruce quitting the club. After a hot start led to Phelan getting the job on a permament basis it’s clear that, like Swansea boss Bob Bradley, this isn’t about who’s in the dugout.

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Hull City loses a pair of valuable players to the Premier League

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If Hull City achieves a quick return to the Premier League, it’ll be without two of its mainstays.

James Chester was sold to West Bromwich Albion on Wednesday for about $12 million, while Irish midfielder Robbie Brady has sealed a move to Norwich City to the tune of $10.5 million.

[ MORE: Latest transfer news

That’s a good deal of dough for the Championship side, which spent big last August in an attempt to move up the Premier League table, only to be relegated on the season’s final day.

Steve Bruce’s bid to send his Tigers right back still has a good deal of talent in Robert Snodgrass, Dame N’Doye and Curtis Davies amongst others.

Brady’s move to Norwich comes after four seasons at the KC Stadium. The 23-year-old Manchester United product did two loan spells for Hull before signing permanently.

Chester is another Manchester United product, and the 26-year-old spent 2011-15 with Hull. He’ll

So far, Hull has added versatile but injury prone Newcastle defender Ryan Taylor, as well as Chesterfield Town midfielder Sam Clucas.

Watch Live: Hull City vs Liverpool (Lineups and Live Stream)

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Hull City faces another opportunity to pull itself from the precipice as it hosts Liverpool at the KC Stadium live on NBCSN at 2:45pm ET or live online at NBC Sports Live Extra.

The Tigers take on a Liverpool squad looking at a slightly rejuvenated push towards a Champions League place, owning a seven-point deficit and a game in hand on fourth-placed Manchester United. Should they pick up a win today on the road, the Reds would be just four points back with four matches to play.

Hull, however, has a much more dire situation at hand. Just a point above the relegation zone, the Tigers are desperate to use this opportunity to put some distance between themselves and a galvanized relegation group that has scrapped for points and closed the gap. A win over the weekend was the first step, pulling themselves out of the relegation zone, but should they fail to pick up points today, the situation would become even more desperate as both Leicester and Sunderland would have one more game in hand.

WATCH LIVE: Hull City vs Liverpool live on NBC Sports Live Extra

The major lineup news comes from the visitors as Steven Gerrard has been dropped completely from the squad, replaced in the starting lineup by Joe Allen in the midfield. Those players are trending in opposite directions, as 25-year-old Allen has been a vital player in Liverpool’s midfield, while the aging Gerrard has at times looked off the pace.

Joining Gerrard on the sidelines is left-back Alberto Moreno, who remains out with an injury. Daniel Sturridge may not play the rest of the season, so Mario Balotelli is back again at the striker role. Mamadou Sakho and Lucas Levia remain injured as well.

For Hull City, they remain without Nikica Jelavic, Robert Snodgrass, and Curtis Davies all through long-term injuries. David Meyler is no longer suspended for his red card against Swansea, but remains out of the squad and therefore leaves it unchanged from the 2-0 weekend win over Crystal Palace.

LINEUPS:

Hull City: Harper, Dawson, Chester, McShane, Elmohamady, Brady, Huddlestone, Livermore, Quinn, Aluko, N’Doye
Bench: McGregor, Rosenior, Figueroa, Bruce, Ramírez, Hernández, Sagbo.

Liverpool: Mignolet, Can, Skrtel, Lovren, Johnson, Allen, Henderson, Ibe, Sterling, Coutinho, Balotelli.
Bench: Jones, Toure, Lambert, Manquillo, Lallana, Brannagan, Markovic.

Premier League 2014-15 preview: Hull City

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Hull City is in Europe (at least for a few more hours). The Tigers advanced to the UEFA Europa League by virtue of their trip to the FA Cup final last season, and host a home leg against FC Trencin on Thursday after a scoreless draw in Slovakia (that included this brutal penalty miss from Tom Huddlestone).

The first ever European run in Hull history is a cool story line, but the focus will be on two things:

1) Will controversial owner Assem Allam win over the fans with his purchases despite his continuing fight to rebrand the club?

2) Can manager Steve Bruce direct the club to safety and a mid-table finish?

[RELATED: Full PL season preview]

Transfers In: Tom Ince (Blackpool), Jake Livermore (Tottenham), Robert Snodgrass (Norwich), Harry Maguire (Sheffield United), Andrew Robertson (Dundee)

Transfers Out: Matty Fryatt (Nottingham Forest), Abdoulaye Faye, Robert Koren

Full PL schedule | Watch Hull City live via Live Extra | BPL on NBC schedule |

Last season: Hull survived scoring the fourth-fewest goals in the Premier League last season, while allowing a respectable 53 marks. The story of their season was a run to the FA Cup final — where they lost to Arsenal in a thriller — that included wins over, well, no one really. The Tigers blessed run up to the Gunners saw wins over just one Premier League team: Sunderland. See how they graded out in last season’s review.

Star player: Curtis Davies

Only Ahmed Elmohamady made more appearances for the Tigers last year than Davies, who is the leader of the club. At 29, Davies has found a home as Hull’s reliable center back (and may have deserved a look for the England team at the World Cup). His three goals in the run to the FA Cup final further cement his place in Hull lore, and Davies will be counted on the help shepherd young bucks Maguire and Robertson into the fold.

source: Getty ImagesCoaches’ Corner: Steve Bruce

At just over 2 years on the job, Bruce is the seventh-longest serving manager in the “win now” world of the Premier League. The rough-and-tumble former Manchester United mainstay as a player has become a well-traveled and vocal personality in the managing world. He may look like a guy you’d see at the pub, either looking for a fight or mowing down a plate of fries. But Bruce has done respected duty at a number of English spots, and is now managing his 29-year-old son Alex.

PST predicts: The Tigers simply must find a way to score more goals than the 38 they scored en route to a 16th place finish in 2013/14. And while Snodgrass and Ince are promising signings, Hull needs to find consistency from at least one of a number of strikers to stay alive in the Premier League. Can it be Shane Long? Nikica Jelavic? Sone Aluko? Something tells me we’ll be asking this question in January’s transfer window, too.

Three things we learned from Arsenal’s FA Cup final win

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LONDON — Following Arsenal’s 3-2 win against Hull City on Saturday in the FA Cup final at Wembley, the Gunners came back from 2-0 down to win a record-equaling 11th FA Cup.

The Gunners never seem to do things the easy way and this sensational comeback was certainly one of those occasions.

MORE: Arsenal’s incredible comeback wins FA Cup final vs. Hull, first trophy since ’05

Hull raced into a 2-0 lead inside eight minutes and they battled incredible hard for the entire game as the Gunners fought back in dramatic fashion.

We learned many things from Arsenal’s first trophy win since 2005, here are three.

Arsenal’s slow start, once again, almost cost them

Away at Manchester City. Away at Liverpool. Away at Chelsea. Then again in the FA Cup final. Arsenal’s slow starts were a constant throughout the 2013-14 season. Starting two or three goals behind has put Arsenal in a bad spot in huge PL games this season and they never recovered. Luckily, for them, on Saturday Hull only went 2-0 ahead after seven minutes. Two set pieces launched into the box saw first James Chester flick home and then Curtis Davies reacted quickly as Hull’s aerial bombardment unsettled Arsenal from the start. Steve Bruce and his staff certainly did their homework and it could have been 3-0 after 12 minutes if Alex Bruce’s header wasn’t cleared off the line. Arsenal haven’t been able to handle face-paced attacks from the get-go all season and they must work on their sluggish starts if they are going to add more silverware to the trophy cabinet at the Emirates Stadium. The Gunners were lucky to get away with their horrendous start.

Hull’s five-man defense biggest help/hindrance

The Tigers’ defenders defended like, er, well, Tigers… for most of the game but they came unstuck several times in extra time as they tried to overplay at the back. There were simply too many men at the back as Hull’s players got in each others way. Throughout the first 60 minutes they threw themselves in front of challenges, made herculian blocks and were extremely well organized. However when they started to falter, tiredness and the tireless running of Yaya Sanogo off the bench was a recipe for disaster. Hull went 2-0 up after eight minutes and they didn’t know what to do. Barely a threat going forward all game, only Sone Aluko’s effort towards the end of extra time came close to Hull scoring a third. Many call Hull’s five-man defense anti-football but until the 71st minute it looked incredibly likely it would win them the FA Cup. Their biggest strength became their Achilles heel.

Wenger’s extra time gamble pays off

After 105 minutes of keeping Arsenal at bay Hull hardly needed to see Jack Wilshere and Tomas Rosicky both fresh as daises and jumping off the bench in extra time. Within seconds the duo had combined to tear Hull apart and Arsenal almost went 3-2 up with a slaloming one-two into the penalty box. That unsettled the Tigers as Wilshere and Rosicky’s energetic running and clever moves found space for Sanogo to create havoc for the winning goal, where Giroud broke free and Ramsey was left unmarked to play the hero. Wenger’s decision to keep both Wilshere and Rosicky on the bench until the last 15 minutes proved masterful and showed that the Frenchman still has that magic touch, even after nine years without a trophy.