Hulse revives career with Leeds after West Brom cold shoulder

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The Independent Online

Rob Hulse looked ahead yesterday towards a promotion battle with Leeds next season - with no regrets over quitting a West Bromwich side he will not be disappointed to see relegated.

Rob Hulse looked ahead yesterday towards a promotion battle with Leeds next season - with no regrets over quitting a West Bromwich side he will not be disappointed to see relegated.

Leeds have splashed out an initial £800,000 for the striker, who has spent the last three months on loan from Albion, with the fee rising to £1.1m dependent on future success. The 25-year-old, with six goals in his 13 appearances for Leeds, has signed a three-year contract through to June 2008 just a year after helping the Baggies clinch promotion to the Premiership. Hulse scored 13 goals as Albion finished runners-up to Norwich, but after the early part of this season was wrecked by injury, he was then barely given a look in after the arrival of new manager, Bryan Robson.

For Hulse, joining Leeds has been the rekindling of his career, as he said: "It's been a breath of fresh air coming here and I've loved every minute of it. I'm proud to be at a massive club like this. The management showed faith in me when others perhaps thought twice because I had been out for so long. It makes me want to succeed for this club even more. Obviously, I'm disappointed I didn't get a decent chance with Albion, but I got injured and you can't help those things.

"Bryan said to me he had not seen a lot of me, and because the club were struggling he couldn't really throw me in, although he told me he was willing to let me go out on loan. But the chairman explained to me he didn't want to see me in an Albion shirt again, which is fair enough. Now I'm not really bothered whether they stay up. It's a part of my career I don't look back on too favourably. I've still got friends there and they are a good bunch of lads. For their sake, I just hope they do themselves justice."

But Hulse can sense the beginning of a major revival at Elland Road, particularly with the job manager Kevin Blackwell has done in stabilising the club after relegation. Hulse added: "This club will be going places next season - I wouldn't have signed if I didn't think that was the case."

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