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 Posted by ESPN Staff
May 23, 2008

Windass keen to offer experience

Dean Windass will put a protective arm around some of his younger Hull team-mates tomorrow in order to help banish any nerves ahead of the biggest match in the club's 104-year history.

Windass is Hull born and bred and well aware of the significance of the Coca-Cola Championship play-off final against Bristol City.

The veteran striker's beloved Tigers could secure promotion to the top flight for the first time and bank an estimated £60million with victory over Gary Johnson's side.

At 39 Windass is nearing the end of his illustrious career and is determined to ensure Hull make the most of their maiden Wembley appearance.

'I think first and foremost you've got to go and enjoy it,' said Windass, who has scored 14 goals this season.

'I've played in big games and you've got to enjoy it.

'Enjoy the day, but play the game, don't play the occasion. If you play the occasion it might get to you a bit and I'll be saying that to a couple of the young lads.

'Once we cross the white line we have to play the game and the occasion will take care of itself.'

When Windass rejoined Hull last January from Bradford City initially on loan it was to help the club avoid relegation to League One.

Windass duly provided the goals that saw Phil Brown's men beat the drop and this season has found himself spearheading the most unlikely of promotion challenges.

'This time last year we were striving to stay in the Championship and to say that we are one game away now from the Premier League is fantastic achievement from all the players and the staff,' added the former Middlesbrough and Aberdeen forward.

'I'm in a lucky situation because I'm a supporter and I'm playing. I know what it means to the supporters.

'They've turned out in their numbers all season and have been fantastic away and at home and they'll be looking forward to a trip to Wembley as much as we are. I'm looking forward to it so lets get it on.

'We are going to go to Wembley to win the game and it's up to the players to put in a performance that will send the supporters away very happy and give them a nice hangover on Sunday morning.

'For me, this is the biggest game of my career, especially Hull being my hometown club.

'A packed Wembley will be something special, but we don't want to come away as beaten finalists.'

A place in the Barclays Premier League is by no means a foregone conclusion for Hull, who have not beaten the Robins since a 2-1 win back in January 1985.

With much of the pre-match talk surrounding around the fact Hull have never been to Wembley or played in the top flight, Windass is keen not to become sidetracked by the possibility of entering the club's history books.

'It's first time in the play-off final at the moment and that's all it is,' warned Windass.

'We haven't won anything yet. There's one last game now and let's hope everybody can put on a performance and win the game and come five o'clock on Saturday let's hope everyone concerned with the club has a massive smile on their face.'

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