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Bruce plans unchanged side for season finalé

Hull boss Steve Bruce hopes to name an unchanged side for the Tigers' unlikely Barclays Premier League survival mission against Manchester United on Sunday.

Jelavic looks set to start up front Credit: Press Association

Nikica Jelavic is expected to lead the forward line once again as Bruce seeks the win his side require to give themselves any hope of staying up.

Jake Livermore remains suspended by the club following a positive drugs test while Mohamed Diame (knee) and Gaston Ramirez (hamstring) are both still out.

Provisional squad: Harper, McGregor, Dawson, McShane, Bruce, Chester, Rosenior, Brady, Robertson, Elmohamady, Huddlestone, Quinn, Meyler, Hernandez, Aluko, N'Doye, Jelavic.

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Cup final to possible relegation: Chris Dawkes looks back on a troubled year for Hull City

This time last year Hull City's fans had just seen their team compete in their first ever FA Cup final and were looking forward to their first ever European campaign.

Fast forward 12 months and the landscape has changed quite dramatically. The club is up for sale, the owners are at loggerheads with fans and local sports groups and this weekend The Tigers could be relegated from the Premier League.

Chris Dawkes looks back on quite a year for Hull City.

Hull City suspend midfielder amid reports of failed drug test

Hull City have suspended midfielder, Jake Livermore, following a Football Association investigation, amid reports he tested positive for cocaine.

Jake Livermore has been suspended by Hull City following an FA investigation Credit: Press Association

It is thought the England international failed a random doping test after the club's 2-0 win over Crystal Palace at the end of April.

The midfielder, who signed for the club from Tottenham Hotspur in the summer in an £8 million deal, made 39 appearances in all competitions this season for the Tigers, in a campaign threatening to end in relegation.

The club released the following statement:

Following suspension by the FA the Club has subsequently suspended Jake Livermore pending further investigations to be made by the FA and our own internal disciplinary procedures.

The Club is unable to make any further comment during this process.

– Hull City

The Football Association released a statement on Friday evening announcing a player, who it did not name, had failed a drugs test.

The statement read: "In line with its anti-doping regulations the FA can confirm it has issued a provisional suspension to a participant following a positive test for a prohibited substance. The FA will make no further comment until it has completed its investigations into this matter."

ITV News could not reach Livermore or his agent for a response.

Pearson reaffirms commitment to Hull

Hull FC owner Adam Pearson has moved quickly to reaffirm his commitment to the Super League club in the wake of his appointment as executive director at Leeds United.

Credit: Press Association

Pearson has returned to Elland Road, where he was previously involved through his various roles in football, which also included a brief recent spell at Sheffield Wednesday.

However, Pearson, who bought Hull in 2011, wants to put supporters' minds at rest by insisting he remains 'totally committed' to the black and whites.

"I have continued to be involved with opportunities elsewhere in sport and business but that changes nothing in terms of my responsibilities and ownership at Hull FC," he said on the club's website hullfc.com.

"Joining the board at Leeds United is an exciting prospect and one I'm looking forward to after a number roles in football in the past.

"However, I remain totally committed to Hull FC, having made a big commitment and contribution to the club, both emotionally and financially, and look forward to seeing the club continue to grow.

"I remain financially committed to the club for the long term and believe wholeheartedly that the management team I have in place will drive the club forwards, both within performance and administration."

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Pearson quits Owls for Leeds return

Former Hull City chairman Adam Pearson is to join Leeds United as owner Massimo Cellino's "right-hand man"

Former Hull City chairman Adam Pearson is joining Leeds United as an executive director Credit: ITV Yorkshire

Pearson , who was Leeds' Commercial Director before taking over at Hull, will be unveiled tomorrow as an executive director at the Elland Road outift.

The shock move comes less than a month after Pearson was appointed to Sheffield Wednesday's three man football committee.

“I’m here to assist Massimo as much as possible on all sides of the club and I’m really looking forward to it.

“I’ll be like his right-hand man as executive director at the club, trying to get the club moving forward in the right lines and in tune with its supporters.

“We’re hopeful for a good season in the Championship next year.

“I know the club really well, I was here 15 years ago. Quite a lot has changed internally but there’s still a lot of familiar faces and some really good staff here.

“Hopefully we can build on that teamwork off the pitch and really take the club forward.

“I know this city very well, I know the club and it’s my hometown city. I want to get back in here and make a difference and get the club moving forward again.

“I’ll be working on all aspects of the club, looking primarily to start with the business and commercial sides to make sure we’re maximising all the revenues coming in.

“I want to make sure that the supporters are getting looked after and the facilities are right. There are some key people already here at the club so it’s just bringing that together and pushing that forward.”

– Adam Pearson

Adam is coming here to be my right-hand man, to help me with everything that needs to be done. There is a lot of work to do.

“He is a good man. He loves football and he knows this club well, that is important.

“Since I came back to Leeds, I have not stopped working, but Adam will help me now. I wanted him here at Leeds and I believe the working relationship will be positive.

“He has quickly started in his job and he has shown in the past that he knows how to be successful in football.

“We will work together on making sure we are ready to have a strong season on and off the pitch.”

– Massimo Cellino, Leeds United chairman

Diame out for remainder of season

Hull midfielder Mohamed Diame has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a knee injury.

Mohammed Diame has been ruled out for the remainder of the season Credit: Press Association

Diame, who has been sidelined since September with the exception of two brief substitute appearances last month, will undergo an operation in France on Tuesday.

Tigers boss Steve Bruce must decide whether to hand striker Nikica Jelavic a starting place for their crucial relegation clash against Burnley at the KC Stadium, while Jake Livermore faces a late test on his injured ankle.

Provisional squad: Harper, McGregor, Dawson, McShane, Bruce, Chester, Rosenior, Brady, Robertson, Elmohamady, Livermore, Huddlestone, Quinn, Meyler, Hernandez, Aluko, N'Doye, Jelavic, Sagbo.

Bruce calls for unity as relegation battle intensifies

Hull City's nail-biting campaign to avoid the drop is being overshadowed by a stand-off between the club's owner Assem Allam and a vocal section of Tiger supporters.

Bruce calls for unity as relegation battle intensifies Credit: Press Association

Back-to-back Premier League wins have given Steve Bruce's side real hope of staying up, even if they have to face in-form Arsenal at the KC Stadium on Monday night.

But despite recent good results some fans continue to demand the exit of Allam, who has refused to give up on his ambition to change the club's name to Hull Tigers.

The dispute has intensified after it was revealed Hull have not spent any of the £200,000 Away Supporters Initiative (ASI) money provided from central Premier League coffers on their own fans.

Instead of subsidising away travel, the club say they have spent the money on improving the match experience at the KC Stadium for visiting supporters.

Mark Gretton, chairman of the Hull City Supporters' Trust, said: "We're bitterly disappointed that the club has once again treated its supporters in an utterly disdainful manner, a manner that, sadly, we are becoming used to."

Co-owner Ehab Allam insists the club's policy falls completely within Premier League guidelines but there were chants of "We want Allam out" at Tuesday's 1-0 win over Liverpool and Bruce has appealed for togetherness for the final few matches of the season.

Bruce said: "Without the owner, let alone not having a team that beats Liverpool, we would not even have a bus.

"Away fans has been the next debate and has provided this undercurrent for the protests. But I keep reminding people that without the owner and something like £70million of his own money there wouldn't be a club. It's frustrating for him, disappointing.

"For goodness' sake, let's go forward together."

Bruce is certain to keep faith with the same line-up that beat Liverpool and Crystal Palace before that, including a remarkable swansong from 40-year-old keeper Steve Harper who has been outstanding since being brought in to replace an out-of-form Allan McGregor.

Bruce added: "He's certainly a calm customer who over two years has never let us down. His experience and positioning has proved what a very, very good goalkeeper he is.

"He can't play week in and week out for a season but he's been a terrific signing when Allan has lost a bit of form."

Bruce should have striker Nikica Jelavic back on the bench against Arsenal - the Croatian striker has been sidelined since having surgery on a knee problem in March.

Bruce tells players they can't afford to relax

Steve Bruce has told his players they cannot cannot afford to relax even though they are on 34 points and have won back-to-back matches in their bid to fight off relegation.

Hull host Arsenal at the KC Stadium on Monday - and Bruce feels there are tough matches to come against Tottenham, Burnley and Manchester United.

"I still think we need a couple of results. It's all still to play for - it's exciting if you are watching from afar but if you are involved in it you have to come out fighting.

"We have seen how competitive and difficult the league is, but back-to-back victories gives us a fantastic chance when a lot of people a week ago were writing us off."

Bruce is expected to keep the same line-up as the side that beat Liverpool on Tuesday but Croatian striker Nikica Jelavic is likely to be on the bench after a knee injury.

Midfielder David Meyler is back from suspension and defender Andy Robertson is also available again after an ankle problem. Senegal midfielder Mohamed Diame remains a doubt with a sore knee.

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