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OPPOSITION VIEW: Damien Delaney has come a long way from his days at Hull City

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WE CAUGHT up with the Hull City reporter for the Hull Daily Mail, Phil Buckingham, to give us his view from the north east…

A lot of money has been spent at Hull. Are the fans happy with the start made?

Reasonably so. In an ideal world a couple of the draws would have been wins and City would be up in the top half but they've paid the price for sloppy defending. Cause for contentment has still been found in the performances. There's a new attacking edge to this side and they've given plenty of opponents problems. The key is getting the balance right in the next few weeks and Steve Bruce is adamant his side are close to getting the results he feels they deserve.

Tom Ince was on loan at Palace last season. How's he getting on?

His season has stalled, if truth be known. After starting the first three Premier League games and showing promise in attack, the arrival of Abel Hernandez for £10m has budged him firmly out of the picture. So much so, Ince has not even made the bench in the past three league games. He notched his first goal for the club in the League Cup last week but he's going to need patience to crack it at the KC Stadium.

What are the expectations among the fans? Where should Hull be finishing by May?

As a club still new to the Premier League and wary of how quickly it can go wrong from their last adventure, all supporters are really asking for is survival. The expectations have risen, no question, but no one is getting ahead of themselves. If Steve Bruce can plot another comfortable survival bid and finish higher than the 16th place of last year, every supporter would be happy with that.

Who should Palace look out for on Saturday?

At the minute it has to be the front two. Nikica Jelavic has got three goals in his six starts this season to continue paying back the £7m fee that brought him in from Everton in January, while Abel Hernandez has wasted no time making his mark.

And which player from the Eagles have you been most impressed with?

A lot of the talk has been about Yannick Bolasie and Jason Puncheon but I've always kept an eye out for ex-Hull City man Damien Delaney. I don't mind admitting I had doubts he would be able to make the step up to the Premier League but I'm also happy to have been proved wrong. The young lad we saw making his Hull debut 12 years ago has come a long way.

Finally, a score prediction?

The past few weeks suggest City are due a slice of luck and a win so I'll lean towards a narrow home victory. Perhaps 2-1 to the Tigers.

OPPOSITION VIEW: Damien Delaney has come a long way from his days at Hull City


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