Premier League: Tom Huddlestone relishing clash with hero Steven Gerrard
Tom Huddlestone cannot wait to take on boyhood idol Steven Gerrard when Hull face Liverpool on Sunday.
Last Updated: 01/12/13 1:17pm
The former Tottenham midfielder will be part of a Tigers team looking to bounce back from successive Premier League defeats against their high-flying opponents at the KC Stadium.
Although he admits he will have to do his best to treat it as just another game, Huddlestone feels there is something special about the challenge of trying to beat one of three players he grew up trying to aspire to.
"Gerrard has been a top-class player for the last 15 years," Huddlestone said. "Growing up it was him, Eric Cantona and Marcel Desailly as my three idols.
"He's got everything. He's quick, he can head the ball, tackle, one of the best passers around, he scores goals.
"There's been times when he's single-handedly won games for Liverpool in the league and in Europe. I'm under no illusions about how big a test it will be.
"You've got to treat it as a normal opponent, as much as possible, but it probably keeps you more concentrated knowing that you've got to perform an extra five or ten per cent better than you would against anybody else."
Hull's fine start to the season has come a cropper in recent weeks, and their defeat at home to bottom-side Crystal Palace means they head into the Liverpool clash suddenly in need of a positive result.
Huddlestone added: "Hopefully, collectively, we can all do our job better than we have done recently.
"When teams are more open against us, attacking-wise that's when we're at our best. Hopefully Liverpool will attack us and it'll leave a few more gaps we can try to exploit.
"The last couple of games have been pretty bad, to be honest. But playing the big teams in your next game makes it easier for the manager as the players can get themselves up for it even more.
"We've played well against teams who have come and attacked us, whereas Palace sat back and we found that difficult. I think we've just got to stick to the game plan and hopefully put one of our chances away."