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.