Hull City: Brad Guzan interview

Hull City stopper Brad Guzan says he is keen to extend his stay at the club beyond the end of the month.

Guzan, on loan from Aston Villa, has been inspired by his stint at the Tigers and now wants to get more first-team football under his belt.

The American stepped into the goalkeeping void left initially by injured fellow loanee Vito Mannone.

Nigel Pearson's team were having an uplift in form at the time and that has continued with Guzan acting as the last barrier.

The purple patch has proved so positive that Hull have been elevated to the nose bleed-inducing heights of 12th.

That may pale into insignificance in Championship terms –- especially with a clutch of teams also six points shy of the top six – but after a poor start, the psychology could prove vital.

Especially considering that last Saturday's defeat of Barnsley ensured City found themselves in the top half of the table for the first time this campaign.

And Guzan, 26, says the thrust of the Championship has left him craving more action at the KC Stadium.

The positive vibes have definitely had an impact on the keeper, who told Yorkshire Sport this week that he doesn't want the feel-good factor to recede.

"It's been good, the guys have been great and for me it's been an easy transition," said Guzan.

"This is my first time out on loan so I didn't know what to expect. At the beginning the guys made it easy for me to come in and be a part of it.

"It's good, it's high intensity and the quality of the players is definitely there, so for me, it's a perfect opportunity.

"You can really see the difference (from reserve team football), but it's not as if there's a massive difference.

"I think that's why the Championship is so good because there are so many players who could potentially be playing in the Premier League."

The mention of the Premier League is an indication of the new- found belief circulating round the City camp.

Although Guzan already has top- flight experience, the stopper senses that he could be part of a promotion tilt.

He has helped to tighten up the defence and the Pearson factor has played no small part in the club's revival, the Illinois-born custodian revealing that the players are earning their wages in between matches with some tough work-outs.

And with all the foundations in place, Guzan made clear his desire to remain in East Yorkshire to play his part in the post-Christmas promotion push.

He said: "Any game on the road is tough, but saying that, I think it's about our approach to the game.

"I think if we can go into the game with the right mentality, the right attitude and look to get something out of the matches, then there's no

reason why we can't get results.

"I'm here till the end of the month but there have been a few words about extending the loan. I'm not sure of the details yet but if it does happen then fantastic.

"I think it may happen and if that's the case I'm happy to be committed to the cause at Hull City and want to help them to push on."

The pace at which the Villa man has settled into life in Yorkshire has been breathtaking.

Signed on emergency terms on New Year's Eve, he was thrown straight into the fray for the 2011 curtain raiser against Leicester.

Even though that ended in defeat, it has proved only a minor glitch in a strong string of results that have made the team contenders again.

Adaptability is key in this division and Guzan has passed the aptitude test with flying colours.

Witnesses of the fine away win at Portsmouth earlier in the month would testify to that as City's new number one showed a safe pair of hands in the face of a pressure-cooker climax.

For Guzan, that kind of hustle is just what he needed, particularly after a couple of frustrating seasons in the tepid fare of reserve team football.

"I think it all happened within about 24 hours," said Guzan of the quickfire deal that came following Mannone's initial injury. "I knew there was some contact with my agent and then, basically, we just rushed it all.

"I went down to see the staff at Villa and two hours later I was driving up here. It happened, literally, overnight.

"It's difficult when you come into a team and train without knowing the guys.

"For them to get to know me and for me to get to know them takes a couple of days. It was a bit challenging at first, but I think we overcame it quite well.

"Any chance you get to play first- team football is quality, so it was a perfect opportunity.

"Villa's a great club but being behind Brad Friedel – who has been fantastic – meant it was difficult to get first-team football.

"This couldn't have been a better chance, a better opportunity."

Guzan is certainly making the most of that chance in his third year in England.

On his move from the States, the keeper said: "For anyone around the world wanting to play football professionally, this is the country to be in, just because of what it means to the people, to the supporters, to the country.

"The passion people put in on a weekend is fantastic. It was a great chance to come to the best place in the world to play football.

"I think with any keeper you have to be a leader and an organiser and for me, if you can do that, you limit the amount of shots you have to face, crosses you face and you're doing your job.

"But to play in this country, you have to have some quality about you and I'm grateful for that chance."

Thankfully for Hull fans, that could well be in black and amber every week.

Kalvin Phillips

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