Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Football: HULL'S AMAZING START IS GOOD FOR GAME, INSISTS KEANE

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Football: HULL'S AMAZING START IS GOOD FOR GAME, INSISTS KEANE

Article excerpt

Byline: STUART RAYNER

ROY Keane believes Hull City's unexpected start to the new Premier League season is "good for football", writes STUART RAYNER.

Sunderland's manager has told the Tigers there is no reason why they should not be aiming to finish the season in the top half, as his own team are aiming to.

As Premier League new boys, Hull were widely tipped for relegation at the start of the campaign but they are currently sitting in the Champions League places after back-to-back wins against Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.

While Keane does not expect the Yorkshiremen to finish in the top four, he sees no reason why they cannot emulate Wigan Athletic and Reading, who both finished their debut Premier League seasons in the top half.

With Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United in the relegation zone after seven matches, Hull are not the only side confounding expectations.

"It's good for football," said Keane. "Not that Tottenham are bottom, but in terms of the way Hull have come up and done well. It happened a few years ago when Reading first got promoted (Wigan were tenth the previous season) and it's great to see."

Even at this early stage third-placed Hull, managed by South Shields-born Phil Brown, have more points than Derby County mustered in the whole of last season. Derby recorded just 11 points the previous term, a record low for the division.

Keane fully expects the top four to consist of the same clubs it has done for four of the last five seasons - namely Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal. While nobody at the KC Stadium will be deluding themselves that they can qualify for next term's Champions League, the Black Cats manager has told Hull they should be aiming to finish the campaign in the top 10. "It's going to be a long, hard season, we all know that," said Keane. …

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