So, the season kicks off for us today and away to Hull. There is something about going to Hull to start the season that gives me a feeling of optimism. I mean, you want the season to start with a bang and it just feels like you can do that at Hull.
I know what is wrong for me to say. I mean, this is our third season in this League, but they finished 18th last season, so there is a reason for the optimism.
More than anything today, I just want to see purpose. If we win 1-0 but play with purpose, I'll be happy. I'd be happier if the purpose turned into a statement and we won 5-0 and we have the players. I think most teams in this League, playing with purpose can score five on their day and why shouldn't this day be ours?
I mean, the start of the season isn't a surprise so we should be ready.
But at the end of the day, we need the three points. We can't and I'm not going to this season, spend much time saying it is going to come right. And I write this in the knowledge that this is going to be a tough season. But I do feel optimistic and I believe, despite what the vocal minority will shout and shout and shout, that we have the players and manager capable of winning promotion this season.
And I sort of want to end this post on what I mean by statement. We have internationals and former Premier League players in our team and also some very talented youngsters. They need to be told to play the way they can and that is why I like the word purpose. If they play with that purpose, to score goals and keep scoring, I believe they can.
You don't score when you're sat back defending and the opposition can't score if you have the ball in their half. I know it's common sense, but it's the way I believe we need to approach this season. If we don't, we make it harder for ourselves, not impossible, but so much harder. We can do it because we have the players. We just have to have them go out and play that way.
I want to see a statement today and what better day to ask the players for it?
Match facts from the BBC
- Hull have won one of their past 14 games against Aston Villa in all competitions; a 2-0 home win in February 2015
- Aston Villa are winless in their past three away league visits to Hull, failing to score despite attempting 40 shots across those three matches
- Hull and Aston Villa also met on the opening day last season, sharing a 1-1 draw at Villa Park
- Outside the top flight, Villa boss Steve Bruce has won four of his past five opening day matches, last losing in 2000-01 against Watford as Huddersfield manager
- Hull are playing their first match of the season on a Monday for the first time since 1907-08, while Villa kick the season off on a Monday for the first time since 1913-14
- The losing finalists from the previous season's Championship play-offs have only lost on the opening day of the next season in one of the past 10 seasons, but that occurred last season, when Reading lost 2-0 to QPR