By Declan Taylor

Arsène Wenger believes that European qualification is a realistic target for Hull City.

The Tigers were hotly tipped for relegation in the summer but produced the shock of the season by coming from behind to beat Arsenal at Emirates Stadium in September. Phil Brown’s side have gone on to prove that it was not just a flash in the pan and currently sit third in the Premier League, above the Gunners and Manchester United.

Wenger is certain that City have shown enough quality to carry on confounding their early-season critics but believes that the real test will come when their winning streak ends.

"Hull deserve a lot of credit. They have been the surprise package since the start of the league,” said the Frenchman ahead of Wednesday’s clash with Tottenham. “They can dream of Europe. Why shouldn't they? Hull have 20 points after nine games. That means they dropped only seven, and if you look at who they have played, they are good teams.

"They look to be efficient defensively and offensively. They do not concede goals and they score goals. They are consistent, so you have to start taking them seriously at the top of the league. They always win in a convincing way and with a very efficient defensive record. That gives you a lot of stability.
"The only question you could ask is how will they respond to one or two shock defeats? When confidence is very high, things go naturally but once they go into a bit of a crisis of results, then how will they respond?

"But at the moment I take them very seriously."

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28 Oct 2008