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Exclusive: Colin Murray’s views on the Championship’s dark horses

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Quest TV’s EFL highlights show host Colin Murray has tipped Hull City as his dark horse for the 2018/19 season.

Speaking exclusively to FLW writer Jay Williams at the launch of the new highlights show, Murray mentioned a number of teams as dark horses but believes Hull will do well this season.

Murray said: “I don’t think many Hull City fans will be as optimistic as I am about them. If you look at who they’ve got rid of, they are good players but players that it’s time to move on from.”

Hull offered new deals to the likes of Abel Hernandez, Michael Dawson and Seb Larsson but they all decided to move on instead.

Murray believes that rather than suffering from these exits, Hull will benefit and be able to use their good crop of youngsters in the first-team.

“I think Nigel Adkins is going to have the young players he wants and he’s a good manager for young players. I’m not going to go as far as to say Hull are going to get promoted from the Championship, but I’d put them as dark horses.”

Hull, who were relegated from the Premier League in 2016/17, were disappointing last term, finishing in 18th place.

As well as the Tigers, Murray believes that Millwall, Preston North End and Brentford could all surprise a few this year after coming so close last season.

Talking about Brentford, Murray said: “They definitely go under the radar. If not the dark horses, they’ll go out and attempt to play good football so they are always enjoyable to watch.”

On other dark horses, Murray added: “If Preston North End went up this year, it would be one hell of a story. Millwall – my team of the year last season and my manager of the year last season”

The Lions, under the guidance of Neil Harris, were widely tipped for failure last season but shocked most spectators with their simple style of play, their 4-4-2 formation and their hardworking group of players.

In the end, Millwall fell narrowly short of promotion and Murray thinks they can succeed next season with fellow Northern Irishman George Saville playing a pivotal role in midfield.

He said: “I’d love to see them go six points better this season. When I’m watching Millwall, George Saville’s my man. He was brilliant for Millwall last year and probably didn’t get as much credit as he should have.

“Just like Jack Grealish is becoming a more mature player, something has clicked for George Saville in the last year and he’s starting to show the class that they thought he was going to have at the highest level.”

NCTJ-qualified journalist - University of Birmingham undergraduate - King's College London postgraduate - Coventry City and West Ham United

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