Nigel who? ... Hull City have moved on in leaps and bounds since Pearson's departure
By Hull City reporter Philip Buckingham ...
"WE DON'T care about Nigel," went the defiant chant from Hull City fans in the wake of Nigel Pearson's exit to Leicester last November.
The song itself was a contradiction, of course. Even with Nick Barmby installed as his popular replacement, the decision of Pearson to up sticks to join a Championship rival had cut deep. Apathy it was not.
However, as City gear up for a third reunion with their former boss on Sunday, the sentiment suddenly rings true.
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The Tigers' faithful really don't care about Pearson anymore. Not a jot. Not one iota.
And the reason why? Steve Bruce.
With a remarkable start to his reign – the club's best opening month in 19 years, Bruce has given cause to look towards a hopeful future, rather than dwelling on the past.
Four wins, one draw and one defeat sees the Tigers sitting pretty in the Championship after the first half dozen games, but it is the manner of their recent victories that has injected unprecedented levels of optimism.
Since brushing aside Bolton 3-1 on the opening day of September, City have returned from the international break to record further attack-minded victories over Millwall and Leeds United.
Without exaggeration, scoring three goals in three consecutive games is a feat not witnessed in these parts for a generation. For attacking value, some supporters have never had it so good.
And Bruce is doing it all with his own tools, rather than those assembled by Pearson.
Six of his summer signings will be expected to line up at the King Power Stadium today, while the previously ostracised Jay Simpson will also spearhead the City attack.
Unlike the much-celebrated 2-1 win over the Foxes at the KC Stadium last December, another victory over the Foxes would be done without the groundwork of Pearson.
City have finally moved on from their former boss. Not just the odd stride. It's been leaps and bounds.
The immediate success inspired by Bruce has been remarkable and has quickly won over the supporters who were reserving judgement on the direction of the club this summer.
City again have their sights set on the Premier League and results witnessed in the last week have only served to underline their potential.
A poor Millwall team were picked apart ruthlessly at the KC seven days ago, while a middle-of-the-road Leeds outfit could offer no response to the pace and urgency of the Tigers.
Another of those "acid tests" awaits Bruce and his men in the East Midlands on Sunday.
For all the pressure building on Pearson and his plans to turn Leicester into a promotion front-runner, the Foxes have amassed a perfect nine points from three home games this season. Not form to be sneezed at.
City must be at their best, you suspect, if a fourth consecutive win is to come today. And then, without a slither of doubt, the Tigers really won't care about Nigel.
Prediction: Leicester City 1 Hull City 2