Hull expected to make immediate return to Championship

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Hull City earned automatic promotion to the top-flight last weekend after a dramatic point against Cardiff was enough to snatch second-place from Watford, who fell to defeat at home to Leeds.

The Tigers are odds-on to go straight back down next season however, with a price of 8/13 on Hull to be relegated immediately.

Bruce’s side probably deserved to go up over Watford given they occupied second spot for longer of the campaign, but it was a rollercoaster of emotions that Hull went through to make it to the top-flight after a three year absence.

Bruce says Hull have already started planning their summer overhaul but he will work within the financial framework provided by the Allam owners to bring in new players, as he does not want to unravel the good work at a stable football club.

It appears clear despite the squad’s admirable work in the Championship this season that the Tigers need new bodies and a fresh impetus if they are to avoid returning to the second tier.

The East Yorkshire outfit are currently available at 6/5 to stay up, and given Bruce’s record in the division that is a tempting price if he can make some handy signings this summer.

From eight full seasons where he has finished the campaign managing in the Premier League with clubs of modest size, the 52-year-old has suffered relegation just once.

That was Birmingham City in the 2005/06 season where the Blues finished 18th, but to his credit Bruce got them promoted back up the following term.

With Wigan he impressively finished two league seasons 14th and 11th, while a similar spell at Sunderland produced placings of 13th and 10th.

That would suggest that Hull are unlikely to finish in the top 10, especially so given they have played three years outside the Premier League and therefore the quality of their playing squad has diminished as a result.

The Tigers can be backed at a lengthy 12/1 for a top 10 position though, but an outrageous bet for them to win the league at 10,000/1 isn’t even worth thinking about.

Some of the current players at the KC Stadium are good enough for the Premier League, such as former West Brom and Sunderland centre-back Paul McShane who scored the goal that took them up.

Ex-Rangers forward Sone Aluko has also had a strong campaign and deserves a crack at the big-time, as does Slovenian international Robert Koren who was unceremoniously dumpred at the Hawthorns but ended this season top scorer for Hull from a midfield position.

But Bruce will recognise the need for signings in Hull’s big to stay up next season, although the task facing the former Manchester United defender looks imposing indeed.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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