It’s time for Judge to be the judge. So, who was better: the Alan Judge of last season or the Alan Judge of this season? Probably this season. Goals get you noticed. I’m playing in a more attacking role and I can’t believe how well it’s been going. It must be a dream. When I got to seven, eight, nine goals, I was thinking: ‘Jesus, everything’s going in!’
Which felt better: winning player of the month, or Burnley and Sheffield Wednesday bidding for you in January?
Getting linked with other clubs was brilliant, but I’ll say player of the month. My son was born on the day I was given the award.
Which meant more to you: promotion with the Bees two years ago, or your first Republic of Ireland call-up this season?
Promotion. I didn’t play on my first call-up for Ireland back in October, but it gave me the extra confidence to go on and realise I’m a good player.
Who has the best name: Engelbert Humperdinck or your team-mate Konstantin Kerschbaumer?
[ Laughs] Kerschinkau... I can’t even say his second name, so I’ll go for him! We just call him Kersch! Sometimes you need only to look at the videoprinter to understand the importance of one player to a particular team. And no goal update has been more recurring during 2015-16 than ‘Hull 1-0, Hernandez’. When the Uruguayan international rounded Jason Steele to slot home the opener at Blackburn in February, it was the eighth time this season he had broken a deadlock, while his eight other league goals up to that point included three equalisers and four times putting the Tigers two goals in front. The coolness of his finishing in the heat of a frenetic battle for the Championship title has been remarkable to see, and the significance isn’t lost on Steve Bruce. “A finisher is a finisher,” said the Hull manager. “A good goalscorer goes cold when they’re through and you just think: ‘Goal’. He’s got that confidence about him at the moment – you can see it in him. Since the first day this season, he has been scoring goals for us: six-yard tap-ins, penalties, outside the box... good for him.” Branded a $20m misfit by most last season, the former Palermo man has shown the cojones to stick it out at the KC Stadium, improve his English and justify his price tag by trying to shoot Hull back into the Premier League. “He cost a lot of money but he’s put that to the back of his mind now,” added Bruce. “He’s starting to get a grip of the language and feel settled. He’s 18 or 19 months into his time in England and that’s helped him.”