This article is part of Football League World’s ‘Player View’ series, this content strand is where we put ourselves in the shoes of a given player, and offer opinion-based outlook on the perspective on the situation at hand…
Hull City striker Tom Eaves has endured a somewhat difficult start to his time with the Tigers after joining from Gillingham in the summer, after scoring 40 goals in two-seasons with the League 1 club.
The 27-year-old has started the season as Hull’s first choice striker, but he was dropped to the bench by manager Grant McCann following the Tigers’ 3-0 win at Luton Town a few weeks ago, with Josh Magennis starting in Hull’s last two-matches against Cardiff City and Tuesday’s meeting with Sheffield Wednesday at the KCOM Stadium.
Eaves would have been frustrated to have dropped down to the bench, but the striker will probably accept that McCann needed to change things up front with the 27-year-old failing to score a goal in the first nine-matches of the season, and struggling to adapt to the challenge of facing Championship defences.
McCann would have been searching for a positive reaction from Eaves, who showed during his spell at Gillingham how effective he can be when he has confidence in front of goal, and he certainly got that on Tuesday with the striker coming off the bench to replace Magennis in the 66th minute and powerfully heading in Eric Lichaj’s cross, for his first goal for the club.
That goal proved to be the vital match-winner for the Tigers, who moved up to 13th place in the table ahead of Saturday’s trip to Huddersfield, and McCann will be hopeful that Eaves can now have the confidence to go on a scoring run in the next few games, which would take some of the pressure off both Jarrod Bowen and Kamil Grosicki.
Eaves’ goal against Sheffield Wednesday was typical of the 27-year-old when at his best, and Gillingham benefitted from his aerial ability on many occasions during his spell at the club, and Hull will now need to start playing to his strengths a little more and delivering the kind of service that he will thrive on.
It is crucial now that Eaves starts to pick up some personal momentum in terms of his performances, if he is going to be able to establish himself as a capable striker at Championship level, and the Tigers will need him to step up to replace some of the goals scored by the departed Fraizer Campbell from last campaign.
The next few matches could prove vital for both Hull’s season and Eaves’ prospects of having a successful spell with the club, with McCann likely to be thinking about putting him back in his starting line-up, an opportunity which the 27-year-old must grab with both hands.