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Rovers play hardball over Hull's Rhodes bid

Hull will be forced to spend nearly all of their Shane Long windfall if they are to land Blackburn's Jordan Rhodes as his replacement.

Hull want Blackburn's Jordan Rhodes
Hull want Blackburn's Jordan Rhodes Credit: Press Association

Scotland striker Rhodes, who has scored 53 goals in 99 appearances since joining Rovers two years ago, has emerged as Steve Bruce's number one target but will not come cheap after Blackburn rejected an initial offer.

They want a profit on the £8million they paid Huddersfield and value their prize asset in the same bracket as Long, who joined Southampton in a surprise £12million deal earlier this month.

Hull's Europa League trip to Lokeren this week has complicated matters, with Bruce admitting after the match on Thursday he did not know how far advanced the discussions over Rhodes were.

Blackburn, meanwhile, have indicated that the ball is in Hull's court and await an improved offer.

Rovers, who signed Tom Cairney and Corry Evans from the Tigers last year, are understood to be interested in Bruce's son Alex as part of any deal.

Bruce would be hesitant to sanction that, with the centre-back having impressed last season and also started in the team's Barclays Premier League win over QPR on the opening weekend.

Hull favour a 3-5-2 formation, meaning Bruce senior would be loathe to lose one of his established central defenders.

Lokeren police blame violence on 'hard-core' supporters

Police in Belgium say a "hard-core" group of Hull supporters "reinforced with Dutch supporters" took part in violence after the Europa League tie last night.

Hull lost the game 1-0 but violence broke out after the game as supporters were being escorted by police away from the stadium:

The plan was to escort the Hull supporters to the train station after the game so that they could catch the last trains to Ghent and Antwerp...When the escort passed by a local pub, the group was pelted with bottles from an enclosed patio. Some of the hard core Hull supporters (ca. 50 persons), reinforced with Dutch supporters, were involved in this provocation. After about fifteen minutes peace returned and the escort went on its way.

Three British and Belgian supporters were put in administrative detention, mainly for disturbing public order and public intoxication.

In the following days we will collect evidence which will allow us to identify and punish the troublemakers.

We regret that despite the efforts of both football clubs and police forces the hard core supporters continue to spoil the atmosphere, at the expense of both clubs and cities, but mostly at the expense of other supporters who just want to have fun at a football match.

– Rudi de Clercq, Lokeren Police


Lokeren fan writes to Hull Supporters' Club

A Lokeren fan has written to Hull City's Official Supporters' Club describing the "hooligans" who caused trouble after last night's game as "outcasts" and "no Lokeren-supporters".

The fan, who has not been named, thanked Hull fans for their behaviour and is apparently looking forward to the return leg next week.

Below is the full letter:

Good day As a Lokeren fan who attended last night’s game, I want to express my big thank you to all the Hull City fans. It was great to meet with them and when they passed the street at the entrance of the stadium the far majority of Lokeren and Hull City fans applauded each other’s fan base. Great atmosphere !

Unfortunately, about 25 hooligans (both from the city of Lokeren and from the Dutch city of Breda) appeared before and after the game with only one goal in mind: make trouble. These guys are no longer allowed inside the Lokeren stadium; they are ‘outcasts’ and no Lokeren-supporters. We do not want them there. They created the trouble; not the Lokeren-fans. We only wanted to have a fantastic atmosphere on and off the pitch. I am very sorry for the people from Hull that possibly got hurt last night. Our deepest apologies.

We look forward to the trip to Hull and to enjoying the game together with our friends from Hull. About 1’000 – 1’500 Lokeren-fans will be travelling to Hull. I expect none of the hooligans to make the trip to Hull. And if they do, I hope the English police teaches them a good lesson…

Good luck this Sunday against Stoke ! We hope you get the three points.

All the best and looking forward to next Thursday’s game

– Lokeren fan letter to Hull City

Supporters' club urges fan segregation in second leg

Hull City fans have criticised the tactics of Belgian police after the club's Europa League clash last night.

A number of supporters were injured when they were hit by bottles and glass as they were led past a bar full of KS Lokeren fans.

Three Hull fans were arrested for offences before and after the match, two for being drunk and disorderly and one for criminal damage.

The Official Supporters' Club says the return leg will now require heavy policing after last night's violence:

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Three arrested after Europa League clashes

Three Hull City Fans were arrested during clashes in Belgium before and after the Hull City v Lokeren match.

Officers from Humberside say they are working with local police in Belgium looking at any offences which may have been committed by Hull fans either before or after the match last night.

Three arrests were made, two for being drunk and disorderly and one for criminal damage.

Humberside Police say they will take extra precautions to ensure a repeat does not happen at the return leg in Hull next week.

Reports of trouble after Tigers' defeat


Belgium fans trapped inside their own pub by a load of riot police so that the bus can get past. Out now and on towards the airport. #hcafc


And I've never had a watercannon pointed at me before. And a long time since I've seen glass bottles chucked at football fans #CityInEurope


Not good here. Some City fans with bricks. Groups forming in the street. We're moving away as quick as possible.

Goalkeeper blunder gives Lokeren the edge

Hull's hopes of reaching the Europa League group stage were dealt a blow after a blunder by goalkeeper Allan McGregor. In Belgium, McGregor gifted Lokeren the goal which saw them defeat Hull 1-0 in the first leg of their Europa League qualifying play-off tie. Hans Vanaken was the lucky recipient of McGregor's blunder as he was in the right place at the right time as the former Rangers stopper passed the ball straight to him, allowing the 32-year-old to round him and roll the ball into the net. Defender James Chester came agonisingly close to making it 1-1 in the 89th minute but he missed the target with a free header from Sone Aluko's cross, meaning the Belgian side will take the advantage into the return leg at the KC Stadium.

"We have learned the first lesson of what we are playing in Europe and that is concentration.

"We made a mistake which cost us the game. Our keeper saved a penalty last Saturday against QPR but today he made a mistake and it's an awful way to lose the match.

"We were very comfortable in the game. We had four good chances to score but we didn't and then he made a mistake in the second half then they got after us much quicker than in the first half."

– Hull City manager Steve Bruce
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