Why Town could repeat Tigers' feat

IF Ipswich Town fans are wondering whether the cup is currently half full or half empty, then they could do worse than check out the fortunes of Hull City.

IF Ipswich Town fans are wondering whether the cup is currently half full or half empty, then they could do worse than check out the fortunes of Hull City.

Phil Brown's Tigers are today riding high in third place in the Premiership, continuing to be the surprise packet in the top flight of English football and getting their claws into all and sundry.

But 12 months ago, life on the Humber wasn't all Arsenal away victories, Sunday successes at Spurs, or Wembley play-off memories.

Indeed in the Championship with 12 points from 10 games, in October 2007, the Tigers' games played and points record were identical to the one Jim Magilton's Ipswich Town side enjoy.

“The progress that we've made over the last 18 months is quite phenomenal,” Brown said.

“When I first started at this football club, I told the chairman that the recruitment policy wasn't good enough and it has improved immensely since those days, which has been very important.

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“We are a progressive club and we made it to the Premier League in one year instead of the three-year plan we had at this stage last year.

“The team spirit in our changing room last season is one of the main reasons why we're in the Premier League now.”

It's proof, if proof were needed, the season is a marathon not a sprint, and Hull, with a strong finish and a Wembley final play-off victory over Bristol City in the bag, are now reaping the rewards.

There are further parallels between the two clubs in that Hull's promotion came on the back of major investment into the club, similar to Marcus Evans ploughing his millions into the Tractor Boys.

A consortium led by Paul Duffen, the current Hull City chairman, purchased Hull in June 2007 and pledged to invest in the team with the aim of winning promotion to the Premier League.

For those who want Magilton out, food for thought perhaps.

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