Hull's Paul McShane loving life back in the top flight
Hull's cult hero Paul McShane is relishing life back in the Premier League and admitted that after relegation he had feared it was the end of his time in the top flight.
The 27-year-old defender has broken back into Steve Bruce's first team after enduring a frustrating spell and he now hopes it will lead to a recall for the Republic of Ireland.
McShane, who was voted Hull's player of the year last season, admits he can be impatient when he is not first choice but is loving life back in the top division.
He said: "I have enjoyed just being back in the Premier League. When we were relegated I was thinking 'will I ever get the chance to play in it again?', so every game now I just relish. In my opinion it is the best league in the world and I'm glad to be a part of it.
"It has been great the last year or so, so I just hope it continues.
"I've had to bide my time this season and wait for my chance, that came against Spurs and I did all right and I've been playing ever since.
"I can be quite impatient when I am not playing. I give everything in training so if it comes to matchdays and I'm not playing I don't take it too well.
"I have never knocked on the gaffer's door, there have been times when he has had to come to me because I've been upset at not playing.
"Doubts creep in but deep down I had always had confidence in myself, I knew every day I had a responsibility to come in and train well and not to be too much of a pain around the place.
"As I've grown older I've had to change my ways a bit, that just comes with experience and being a little older and wiser and I've tried not to be too mouthy."
McShane had a loan spell at Crystal Palace, the visitors to Hull's KC Stadium on Saturday, and still feels grateful for his time there.
He added: "It was grand, at the time I needed to get out and play. I didn't really want to leave Hull but I had to because I was getting no game time at all and I enjoyed it."
McShane has played three times for the Republic this year but was omitted from the most recent squad and has hopes of a recall - especially with Roy Keane, whom he played under at Sunderland, being appointed assistant to new manager Martin O'Neill.
He said: "I just want to keep playing and keep performing and hopefully I will be a part of it."
Hull keeper Allan McGregor is expected to return to face Palace after making a speedy recovery from a thigh injury.
Robbie Brady is also expected to return after a hernia problem, but fellow Irish midfielder Stephen Quinn is out after suffering a hamstring injury on international duty.
Robert Koren is available after a foot injury, while long-term absentee Sone Aluko (Achilles injury) is also missing.