Myhill has drive to keep Hull on road

Like his team, City's goalkeeper has come a long way and he believes their journey is far from over

Boaz Myhill joined Hull City in December 2003, since when the California-born Wales international goalkeeper has made 229 League appearances for the Tigers. Asked whether any of those matches did not matter, in the sense that the outcome could not affect City's destiny that season, Myhill scratches his head.

"There was one season when we won promotion with, I think, four or five games remaining and we could relax. Otherwise, we've always been fighting for promotion or against relegation until the very end."

And winning out every time. Myhill nods. "Yes, so far it's always worked out. But one thing's for sure. Life here's not been boring."

But today, in the words of the City manager Phil Brown, comes undoubtedly the biggest match of them all. Actually, given that Hull could be beaten by Manchester United and – as long as Newcastle lose at Aston Villa – still stay up, some might argue that last season's play-off final defeat of Bristol City was bigger still, but Myhill would not be among them.

"You can't let yourself think for a second that what might be happening somewhere else might get you out of trouble, and we won't," insisted Myhill. "It's all about us, and what we do. People might say we've only won one of our last 22 games, or whatever, and that we don't deserve to stay up, but it's about 38 games, and what we achieved in the first part of the season means we've earned this chance to hear the final whistle and know we're safe, without having to ask what happened at Villa."

At the beginning of the season Myhill made a similar point about himself, admitting that he did not know whether he was good enough to play Premier League football, but having won three promotions, he had surely earned the right to try and prove he was. With one game remaining, does he think he has been good enough?

"Ultimately I think I have, though that's not to say I haven't made mistakes," he said. "We all have, and we've all learned a lot. I've certainly discovered a lot about myself. I missed 10 games when the manager changed the team around, brought in Matt Duke, and that wasn't a good feeling.

"I honestly didn't think I'd done much wrong, but it was one of those things and I tried to use that time constructively and intelligently. It's been a mental adjustment as much as anything. You're up against very good players in every game, which means there will be periods when the opposition are on top and you have to work incredibly hard just stay in the game.

"Then there will be times when the goalkeeper is out of the game, but even then you have to be constantly alert because when the balls do come into the box, the delivery is so good. Picking and choosing when to intervene is key, and again, experience is a factor."

On Thursday evening, Brown took his squad to the splendid new theatre on Ferensway, in the city centre, where, with characteristically excellent timing, John Godber's Hull Truck company have revived Alan Plater's play Confessions of a City Supporter.

While full of jokes and local references, the nuances of which might have escaped the likes of Geovanni and Manucho, none of the players can have come out without a greater appreciation of just how important it has been for a city often unfairly denigrated in the media to have their football team in the Premier League. "That was my team talk, there and then," said Brown, and there can be no doubt City will not lack for motivation.

Whether they have the quality to beat even a much-changed Manchester United is of, course, another matter. One tabloid on Friday put up the back page headline: "United's third team too good for Hull", and the odds are they will be.

Brown came close to acknowledging as much: "Middlesbrough, Newcastle and Sunderland might have fears about what will come out of United's changing room, but let me tell you, I do as well," he said, but at the same time he suggested that City's draw at Bolton last week was the closest they had come to replicating their early-season form for months.

However well City play however, however hard they work to close down United's ball-players and pressurise unfamiliar defenders into making mistakes, Myhill is aware that in all probability he will be the key figure.

"If selected I'll do my best, like I always do," he said. "Hopefully the experience of the last nine months will help. All I can promise is that if it doesn't work out, it won't be for want of trying."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones