Hull City’s recent run of six games without defeat can be attributed to a number of factors, the form of defender Anthony Gerrard, the recruitment of loan keeper Vito Mannone and in my opinion most importantly the return to fitness of skipper Ian Ashbee.
Ashbee has had his career hit in recent years by severe injuries but has come back into the City side in the last couple of months and had a major impact on the team. In tandem with James Harper he has added experience and grit to the central midfield and has allowed the likes of Robert Koren to get forward more which has seen the Slovenian become a regular scorer for the Tigers.
With the City team having a number of loan players in the ranks, experience is crucial and youngsters such as John Bostock and Cameron Stewart cannot fail to learn from Ashbee and use his guidance effectively.
A talismanic player, Ashbee brings out the best of those around him and his displays at Leeds and Preston certainly caught the eye as City took four points from two tricky away ties and he was prominent in the home clash with Bristol City as he controlled the midfield.
As Hull look to push on with the additions of new players it will be the likes of Ian Ashbee who they rely on to maintain the continuity hopefully onwards and upwards.
Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.