Hull City promotion to the Barclays Premier League:
Hull City have been promoted to the Barclays Premier League after a dramatic 2-2 draw with Championship champions Cardiff City on the final day of their season. Watford, who were in third place needed to better Hull’s result but lost 2-1 at home to Leeds United.
Hull had a chance to seal their promotion with victory, having a penalty in injury-time while leading 2-1, but the spot-kick was saved and Cardiff went up the other end to equalize with a penalty of their own. That meant Watford could go up if they beat Leeds but with their match at 1-1 and continuing after Hull’s had finished because of long first-half injury-time Gianfranco Zola’s team instead conceded and eventually lost.
“I have been around the block and this was wonderful entertainment, but Jesus Christ, it’s put us through the ringer,” Bruce said. “Overall we deserved it. I would like to say well done to Watford who pushed us all the way.”
The Yorkshire club have been out of the top flight since being relegated in the 2009/10 season but will return to the Barclays Premier League with 78 points thanks to the guidance of Steve Bruce – who has previously managed in the Barclays Premier League with Birmingham City, Wigan Athletic and Sunderland.
Next season will be Hull’s third campaign in the Barclays Premier League. They got off to a flying start under Phil Brown in their debut season in the division, winning six of their first nine matches including a victories away to Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur, and they secured their safety on the final day by one point and one place.
After their relegation the next year, Hull finished 11th and then 8th in the Championship, before calling on Bruce, who twice guided Birmingham to the Barclays Premier League, to launch a charge on the automatic promotion places this time round.
Hull’s top scorer is Robert Koren, who previously played for West Bromwich Albion in the top flight. Former Sunderland midfielder David Meyler and ex Stoke centre-back Abdoulaye Faye are among the other players who add Premier League experience to Bruce’s squad.
Looking to join Cardiff and Hull in the Barclays Premier League will be Watford, Brighton & Hove Albion, Crystal Palace and Leicester City who will play off for the final place. Watford will take on Leicester while Brighton face Crystal Palace in the semi-finals.