Tuesday 6 December 2016

Hull defender Andy Robertson ready for second Premier League stint

Published 02/06/2016 | 18:06

Scotland's Andrew Robertson reckons he has improved after registering 46 games in the Championship for Hull
Scotland's Andrew Robertson reckons he has improved after registering 46 games in the Championship for Hull

Scotland defender Andy Robertson reckons he is better equipped to handle the demands of the Barclays Premier League than when he first joined Hull.

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The 22-year-old Tigers full-back is heading back to England's top-flight after securing promotion through the play-offs.

Steve Bruce's side were relegated at the end of the 2014/15 campaign but have regained their place after beating Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 in Saturday's Wembley final.

Promotion was sealed by Mohamed Diame's fine goal but Robertson reckons the education he received during the gruelling Sky Bet Championship campaign has been priceless.

He had spent just 12 months at Dundee United before winning his move south in 2014 but admitted his first year in England proved tough as Hull failed to prevent themselves slipping down to the second tier.

Now t he former Queen's Park youngster believes he is ready to make his Premier League return.

He told the Scottish FA website: "I'm buzzing to be back in the Premier League.

"Obviously I had a stint in the Premier League last season. It was my first time in such a big league since leaving Scotland but I will be better equipped this time.

"I've played 46 games in the Championship this season. It's a high-intensity game at that level and you learn stuff in the Championship that can only help you in the Premier League.

"So hopefully I can introduce that into my play and be a wee bit better than I was last time."

Robertson - who has now joined up with Gordon Strachan's Scotland side ahead of Saturday's friendly with Euro 2016 hosts France - still cherishes his first cap against Poland in March 2014 as his finest moment in football.

But he believes his weekend triumph runs it a close second.

"I'm absolutely delighted," Robertson said. " We've had a bit of an up and down season but our main aim has been to get promoted and luckily we've managed to do it.

"It's up there [with my greatest achievements as a player]. When you are a young boy you want to play for your country and I've been lucky enough to do that and go on to win a few caps since then.

"But club-wise it's definitely my greatest achievement.

"Getting a club out of the Championship after being relegated the year before, which was tough going, and to get them back to the Premier League is a very good achievement."

Their Wembley commitments meant Robertson and club-mates Shaun Maloney and Robert Snodgrass, as well as Wednesday's Barry Bannan, missed the Scots' disappointing 1-0 defeat to Italy in Malta on Sunday.

But with the World Cup qualifiers set to start on September 4 with another trip to the Mediterranean island nation, Robertson insists there was never any thought about asking Strachan for an extended break.

"I spoke to the other Hull boys straight after winning promotion and we all thought the same, that we had to phone and see how we could get out to Malta for the training camp before the France game," he said ahead of facing Les Bleus in Metz this weekend.

"It's important to meet up with the boys, especially before the World Cup qualifiers, because it's going to be a big campaign.

"Hopefully we can be part of it. We need to play the friendlies and try to play our way into the gaffer's team.

"Saturday will be a brilliant game to be involved in because all their fans will turn up and try to wish the players well before the Euros.

"It's our last game before the qualifiers start, so both teams will be wanting to win so they can take some momentum going forward.

"Some people might not believe we can qualify for Russia in 2018 because it's been so long since we last made a main tournament.

"But we've got to believe in ourselves and we all do. We just want to get it started now, though, The last campaign started off well and faded out. But we know we have to get off to a good start again and hopefully that will carry us through this time."

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