Dowie can’t afford Hammers sympathy

The battle at the foot of the Premier League continues this weekend
when Dowie will aim to lead his Tigers to victory over Burnley at
the KC Stadium. Dowie, a boyhood West Ham fan who scored 13 goals
in 81 appearances for the Hammers, is preparing the Tigers for
Saturday’s “colossal” contest. Hull currently occupy the final
place in the relegation zone, three points ahead of Burnley and one
point behind West Ham, but with a game in hand. And with six games
remaining, Dowie is focused solely on helping Hull to avoid the
drop and would have no mixed emotions if his side survived at the
expense of his former club. “Nothing would give me greater pleasure
than to keep Hull in the Premier League – that would be a fantastic
achievement,” said Dowie. “Whoever else goes down, I don’t care.
“Would it be fantastic if we stayed up and West Ham stayed up?
Great. “That’s probably unlikely, but let’s deal with what we’ve
got to deal with first.” First up for Hull is Burnley, who will be
reeling from their 6-1 defeat to Manchester City last weekend.
“They’ll be hurting, that I think will add to the spice of the
game,” added Dowie. Burnley’s woeful away record – they have one
point from 16 matches away from Turf Moor – will mean Hull will be
favourites to emerge with a seventh win of the season. “We’ve got
to take care of business on Saturday,” added Dowie. “I understand
how colossal a game it is, not just for the club but for the city
of Hull. “If we were to win this game it would give us huge
impetus. “We do have that extra game in the bag and it would put
things in our control, which would be very nice.” Victory over the
Clarets would see Hull six points better off than Brian Laws’ side.
And Dowie believes Wolves, Bolton, Wigan and West Ham, who meet
Sunderland on Saturday, would be looking over their shoulders
nervously. He said: “I think Sunderland are definitely out of it
now and the rest of us are where we are. “What we must do is get a
result to draw others into it. “All of a sudden other teams are
under pressure.” Dowie is the Tigers’ temporary football management
consultant and has been in charge for three games since manager
Phil Brown was placed on gardening leave. He was handed nine games
to turn the momentum and secure Premier League survival and has
suffered two defeats, but enjoyed a welcome 2-0 victory over Fulham
when Hull last played at home. His enthusiasm and positive outlook
has rubbed off on the players and the squad are excited ahead of
the match. “I sense there’s an eagerness for Saturday to come
around,” he said. Hull could receive a welcome boost with George
Boateng given a 45% chance of playing. The former Holland
international midfielder was carried off on a stretcher in last
Saturday’s loss to Stoke after being struck in the face by Tuncay
Sanli’s overhead kick. Brain scans and X-rays have given Boateng
the all-clear. However, if he has symptoms of concussion, he will
not be risked. Dowie said: “He was in this morning, bright smile on
his face, little bit sore, little bit groggy. “Are we hopeful? Yes
we are. “Would I say he was going to play? I would say 55 (%) no,
45 (%) yes. “It will go to the wire.” Boateng’s tenacity in the
centre of midfield would be a big boost to a City side certain to
be without Republic of Ireland winger Stephen Hunt, who is still
struggling to shake off a foot problem. “It would be a great fillip
for the club if he’s fit on Saturday,” said Dowie of Boateng. “If
he’s not, he’ll be in the dressing room geeing everyone up like he
always is.” Ibrahima Sonko is available again after being
ineligible for the trip to his parent club Stoke, while Andy Dawson
is in contention to start after returning to the bench at the
Britannia Stadium following a hamstring problem.