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Hull youngster Tom Cairney relishing Chelsea test after finally making his debut

02 Feb 2010 15:04:38

Hull youngster Tom Cairney relishing Chelsea test after finally making his debut

Even at the age of 19, young Hull midfielder Tom Cairney could have been forgiven for believing his Premier League dream was over when Chelsea's last visit to East Yorkshire was postponed due to snowstorms. The product of Hull's Academy, who was thrown out by Leeds for being too small, had been promised his league debut by Tigers boss Phil Brown for the original fixture last month. Horrendous conditions in and around the KC Stadium 24 hours before kick-off were to deny him his opportunity. Cairney said: `We were in the hotel on the Friday night and at about half seven we went for tea and the gaffer told us police had called the game off. I was gutted. Hitting the big time: Tom Cairney in action against Wolves on Saturday 'He'd told me that morning that I was going to play so I thought I was going to be making my debut against Chelsea at 18. Never mind though. 'When it started snowing again last Friday the lads were making fun of me again but I was just glad to play against Wolves and get the game under my belt.' After an accomplished first start in Saturday's relegation battle with Wolves, the Nottingham-born Scotland Under 19 international, has again been assured he will line up against the likes of Lampard, Deco, Ballack and Cole. Brown, who successfully fought to hold on to Irish pair Stephen Hunt and Kevin Kilbane said he has no doubts the teenage central midfielder can handle the big occasion. He said: 'Some of the top-class midfielders in the Premier League can't handle it so it would be a risk. But he's come into training sessions and the senior pros have tried to fluster him and he's handled it all. He's got a bright future. 'We took him from Leeds United's academy as a 14-year-old boy and he was the runt of the pack, not the stature you see now. He was about 5ft 6in but he grew up to be a 6ft 2in, elegant midfield player. 'He sees a pass, he is aware of what is around him when he has got the ball, he has to learn the defensive side of the game when he hasn't got it but that will come. I had no qualms or doubts about throwing him against Chelsea, unfortunately the game got cancelled. He's leapt ahead of one or two at the football club and maybe surprised people, but not me.' Under pressure: Hull boss Phil Brown Cairney, who revealed he was guided through Saturday's 2-2 draw by veteran George Boateng, has had to wait patiently for his chance after making only a handful of substitute appearance in the League Cup and FA Cup. He is looking forward to making up for lost time when Chelsea return to Hull looking to extend their lead at the top of the Premier League table. He added: 'Every young lad wants to play against international stars and obviously it'll be a tough game but it would be something I'd love to be a part of. 'All of my heroes growing up were the guys like Frank Lampard who are still playing now. I've been watching him since I was at school and to get a chance to play against those people would be just surreal. It's crazy but that's what you dream of.' Hunt meanwhile is glad the speculation surrounding his future is over after Hull turned down Wolves' final £5 million offer. The winger said: 'I am staying and I am happy to stay so we move on. It is a relief it's over. 'I am more mentally able to do get my head down because I have had experience of dealing with it before. I get paid by Hull City and want to do my best for Hull City.'  Stephen's staying and will keep us in the Hunt, say Hull as they reject WolvesCash-strapped Hull City reject £5m bid from Wolves for midfielder Stephen Hunt HULL CITY FC


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