Cottagers Confidential: Welcome back to the Championship. I know it hasn't been that long since Hull City were here, but as a first time follower of the league last year, boy is it a slog. What changes has the club made for this coming season to prepare for it?
Amber Nectar: As is frequently the case with sides relegated from the Premier League, we’ve been rather buffeted by events instead of shaping them. The post-demotion exodus hasn’t quite materialised, with big names such as Tom Huddlestone, Nikica Jelavić and Michael Dawson all still here, though with exits before the closing of the transfer window still possible. That lends an air of uncertainty to everything, inevitably disrupting Steve Bruce’s attempts to prepare. Consequently, despite the season being underway he still doesn’t know who’ll be here for its duration. We’ve signed a few new players, both permanently and on loan, and all are looking good, however it’s very much been a summer focussed on who’s going rather than who’s coming.
CC: What are your expectations for the season? Are you expecting to go back up? Content with mid table and regrouping? Worried about going down again?
AN: It would be very disappointing not to be involved in the promotion race. We have kept something approaching the nucleus of the side from last season, in particular the defence. That’s not to say we’re demanding the title, or even making the play-offs, but by late April, we should still be in with a chance of going up. I hope.
CC: Which teams do you think are going to drop this year? Which teams do you think go up?
AN: We beat Huddersfield on the opening day of the season, and were surprised at how poor and unambitious they were. It’s boring to say Rotherham, but it is hard to see them prospering; picking a third candidate for the drop looks next to impossible given the Championship’s unpredictability. Promotion-wise, Middlesbrough have started well and strengthened formidably, Wolves look handy for a serious push, while Burnley’s chances are being seriously under-rated.
CC: Predicted lineup and scoreline?
Odubajo Dawson Davies Robertson
Elmohamady Hayden Huddlestone Clucas
If forced to predict, I’d go 2-1 City, though this being the Championship, few results would truly surprise me...