ABEL HER­NAN­DEZ

Australian Four Four Two - - GOING FOR GOLD -

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.”

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