Tuesday 20 March 2018

Hull face battle to keep Wolves from Hunt’s door

Vennegoor of Hesselink 11, Hunt 52 pen
Gardner 49 og, Jarvis 67

Jeremy Cross

HONOURS finished even at the KC Stadium, but according to Marcus Hahnemann it seems whoever comes out on top in the tussle over the immediate future of Stephen Hunt will stand the better chance of avoiding relegation from the Premier League.

Despite the four goals this was a poor contest, with Wolverhampton Wanderers left feeling slightly more satisfied with a hard-fought point having come from behind twice.

The fact Hull City face Chelsea tomorrow and then Manchester City meant this was a game they needed to win. The fact they didn’t was due to some woeful defending from Phil Brown’s side and now the club’s resistance must prove much stronger when it comes to keeping Hunt from Wolves’ clutches before the transfer window closes today.

Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink put the home side ahead in the 11th minute before Anthony Gardner sliced Ronald Zubar’s cross over the helpless Boaz Myhill and into his own goal four minutes into the second half. Hull went ahead again three minutes later when Zubar bundled over Jozy Altidore to concede a penalty which Hunt smashed past Hahnemann.

But Hull continued to commit defensive suicide and when they failed to clear their lines in the 67th minute the unmarked Matt Jarvis was allowed to earn Wolves a point with an angled strike into the bottom corner.

Mick McCarthy, the Wolves manager, has made three bids for Hunt, the last of which being a £4m offer prior to this game. Hull want to keep him but every player has his price and should McCarthy improve his offer to around £6m then it is thought Hull would have little choice but to cash in on the Republic of Ireland international considering their current financial issues.

Hahnemann, a former colleague of Hunt’s at Reading, believes the outcome of negotiations will have a huge baring on both clubs’ chances of avoiding relegation. “There are so many rumours about him joining Wolves, but knowing Hunty there’s no way it would affect him. I knew he would want to take it (the penalty). Lesser players would have felt the pressure and crumbled, but he struck that thing really well. He’s one of those players you always want in your team,” he said. “We would love to have him at Wolves.

“I don’t know if we are going to see him or not, but he would be a great asset. He works so hard, he’s full of energy, and if you need a role model for anyone, just watch how hard he works for 90 minutes. It’s not just industry with him, there’s a lot of quality as well. Whichever side ends up with Stephen Hunt after 5.0 on Monday will have a great chance of survival because he’s someone you want in your side. I’m not saying the other side won’t survive, but you’d want him around.”

Hull City (4-4-2): Myhill; McShane, Gardner, Mouyokolo, Dawson; Mendy (Garcia, 81), Boateng, Cairney, Hunt; Hesselink, Altidore (Zaki, 68). Substitutes not used: Duke (gk), Fagan, Barmby, Geovanni, Kilbane.

Wolverhamtpon Wanderers(4-1-4-1): Hahnemann; Zubar, Craddock, Berra,Ward (Stearman,89); Mancienne; Foley (Guedioura,89), Henry, Jones, Jarvis (Mujangi,89); Doyle. Substitutes not used: Hennessey(gk), Ebanks-Blake, Vokes, Milijas.

Referee: M Dean (Wirral).

Booked: Hull Boateng, Dawson.

Man of the match: Cairney.

Attendance: 24, 957

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