After four straight wins, two home defeats against teams below us in the league has surprised me a little.
Hull City hadn’t won in six matches but as we were left reeling from the West Bromwich Albion defeat, by all accounts Steve Bruce had his players on bonding sessions as they came into a game they simply couldn’t afford to lose.
Bruce played a 3-5-2 formation and from the start they took control of the match as they outnumbered us in midfield with Tom Huddlestone and Jake Livermore sitting deep and Stephen Quinn playing behind a front two of Dame N’Doye and Sone Aluko.
Hull’s wing backs Ahmed Elmohamady and the impressive Robbie Brady worked tirelessly offensively and defensively and they did not look like a team who were on their worst run of the season as they confidently moved the ball around well and looked composed.
Teams at the bottom of the table always refer to the lack of good fortune they get in games, but Steve Bruce could have no complaints on Saturday in that respect. Brady’s handball completely changed the outcome of that situation – it was probably not deliberate but it was a gamechanger in terms of it leading to a goal.
The manager made some positive changes but on 83 minutes I think Hull received their second bit of luck when a tussle between Paul McShane and Yaya Sanogo resulted in a disallowed goal for us, and even after viewing replays it’s a tough one to accept. Every match I watch, I see players holding onto opponents during corners and free kicks, and not many, if any, are given as penalties.
With Dwight Gayle and Yaya up front as a pair and Yannick Bolasie still looking for one crucial cross, the ball came out to debutant Chung-yong Lee but his pass was cut out and N’Doye scored his second.
With the exception of the bad pass I thought Chungy showed us what a good addition he will be to the squad, but all in all Hull had more possession, more corners and 21 shots to our seven, but they rode their luck and left with all three points and that hurt.
That’s two former managers in two weeks who’ve taken maximum points off us, so thank goodness there’s no more to play.