Saturday 24 February 2018

Huddlestone backs Ramsey

Hull City's Tom Huddlestone expects QPR boss Chris Ramsey to make the most of his chance
Hull City's Tom Huddlestone expects QPR boss Chris Ramsey to make the most of his chance

Hull midfielder Tom Huddlestone believes Chris Ramsey will make the most of his chance at QPR and is only surprised it took so long for him to make the step into management.

Ramsey stepped into the void left by Harry Redknapp's resignation at Loftus Road and has been handed the reins until the end of season.

At 52 the former Swindon defender has taken his time to make the transition to number one, not withstanding a low-profile spell in America, and spent a decade working with Tottenham's Academy and Under-21s.

But Ramsey is highly regarded for his work at White Hart Lane, not least by former Spurs midfielder Huddlestone.

The pair will be on opposite sides on Saturday as Hull and Rangers contest a match that could have big implications at the bottom of the table.

"Chris is well respected within the game, it's a surprise he hasn't moved into management before to be honest," said Huddlestone.

"I know from working with him at Tottenham and from what some of the younger lads said he's one of the best they've worked with.

"I think he can make a success of it. He's got all the qualifications behind him and even though it's not at first team level he's gained a lot of experience behind the scenes with youth development and Tottenham seem to be reaping the rewards from him at the minute."

Huddlestone's closing comment is a nod to the integration of players such as Harry Kane, Nabil Bentaleb and Ryan Mason into the current Spurs side.

Huddlestone and Jake Livermore both swapped North London for Hull after being edged out by expensive imports under Andre Villas-Boas, while long-serving Tottenham skipper Michael Dawson made the same switch this summer.

Tigers boss Steve Bruce says all three have offered glowing references for Ramsey and is pleased to see another homegrown coach given the chance to serve in the Barclays Premier League.

"They all speak very, very highly of Chris. He's well respected with a reputation as a very, very good coach," said Bruce.

"He has been given a great opportunity and I wish him well, after Saturday, I really do. I'm pleased a British, English coach has been given the opportunity.

"Over the last couple of weeks we've seen a little return to that with Tim Sherwood being given the Villa job and Chris getting the QPR number, so I sincerely hope it goes well."

For all the kind words directed at Ramsey on the eve of the game, there will be no niceties on show at the KC Stadium.

Both sides lie just above the relegation zone, Hull by a point and QPR courtesy of goal difference, and victory over a close rival at this stage of the season is priceless.

"It's getting down to the nitty gritty now, the tickly bit is about to start," said Bruce.

"It's going to go down to the wire and we better get prepared because we're in it.

"We're four points off 12th and we're six points off the bottom of the table, let's hope at just the right time we can find that bit of form to see us through."

Bruce is once again without midfielder Mohamed Diame, who had been pencilled in for a first appearance since December 3.

Having spent 10 weeks out with a knee injury he took a knock to the affected area at the start of the week and has sat out since then.

"He's had to have precautionary scans and X-rays to see how the injury was and thankfully everything's okay, but as you can imagine he didn't want a knock there," said Bruce.

"We don't think it's going to be too long, in fact we hope he can be joining in with training in the middle of next week.

"But it's set him back a week or 10 days so he won't be available on Saturday."

Press Association

Promoted Links

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport