RAY WILKINS has warned Hull to be prepared for a Chelsea backlash ahead of tonight’s Premier League clash at the KC Stadium.
The Chelsea assistant boss described how the dressing room was like a morgue after Liverpool’s 1-0 victory at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, which brought the Blues’ 86-game unbeaten home league record to an end.
But Wilkins has seen a determined reaction in training — and he expects a similarly emphatic response on the field against the high-flying Premier League newcomers.
“The dressing room was morgue-like. They were very, very down,” said Wilkins.
“They set themselves standards of performance and they feel they didn’t quite reach that. Therefore they are doubly determined to bounce back.
“It was a phenomenal record we had but it’s gone. The disappointment wasn’t the fact the record went, it was that we lost three points to Liverpool.
“The team have reacted very well indeed. The lads are in an extremely positive frame of mind.
“They are a very strong-willed group and I am sure that will see us through okay.
“No-one likes being defeated and when you have a group of winners like we have, they found it very difficult to take that defeat.
“They will be trying doubly hard to make sure the next result we have is a positive result.”
Hull manager Phil Brown is far from intimidated by the challenge ahead.
Many would expect this to be the week when Hull’s bubble bursts after an outstanding start to the season which has seen the promoted side rise to third in the Premier League.
But after four successive victories, three of them with clean sheets, Brown insists his side will not fear Chelsea.
Brown said: “It is a massive game for us because, one, it is the next one and, two, we have won four on the bounce.
“Confidence levels are sky high but what that manifests itself in is us looking forward to the game rather than being frightened.
“At the start of the season people would have been fearing this fixture but now all of a sudden we’re not, we’re looking forward to it.”
Last weekend’s 3-0 victory at West Brom has taken the Tigers’ points tally to 20 after nine games, just three behind leaders Liverpool and level with Chelsea.
Brown said after the game that he would be happy with 20 points from 10 games, a comment which was picked upon as meaning he had already written off the Chelsea game.
However, Brown claims he was merely trying to compartmentalise the season in saying he would have been happy with 20 points from the first 10 games and 20 from the second.
He said: “I haven’t written this game off, far from it. I’m really looking forward to it.
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