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Archive for September, 2012

HULL City boss Steve Bruce was forced to deliver an immediate apology after a miserable 3-1 defeat to Leicester City ended with his ‘idiotic’ dismissal.

The Tigers‘ three-game winning sequence came to a grinding halt yesterday as former manager Nigel Pearson led his Leicester side to all three points.

​ Although Jay Simpson offered City hope with a first-half equaliser, a David Nugent hat-trick condemned the visitors to their first loss in five games. To cap an instantly forgettable trip to the East Midlands, Bruce was sent to the stands eight minutes from time for vehemently contesting a decision in front of his technical area. Bruce was quick to issue an apology to referee Eddie Ilderton and his assistants but he must now await the official’s report to the FA to discover if he is to face further punishment.”I’ve been in to see the referee and sometimes you do stupid things,” said Bruce. “I’ve apologised. I contested a decision which went against us but I still shouldn’t go on like some lunatic in the way I did. “The ball wasn’t out but that shouldn’t excuse me going on like an idiot. “Sometimes you do things where you go home and think ‘What the hell was I doing?’ and think what an idiot you’ve made of yourself.” After victories over Bolton, Millwall and Leeds, the Tigers fell well short of their previous high standards as they missed out on the chance to climb up to second in the Championship. Nugent’s opener was cancelled out by Simpson’s fourth goal of the season midway through the first half, but Leicester regained the lead three minutes before the break. A Nugent header earned Leicester a second advantage they rarely looked like surrendering, before the former England forward killed off the Tigers with a stoppage-time third.

“We didn’t deserve anything from the game,” said Bruce. “I have to say that Leicester were worthy winners.”We hung in there, which we had to do, but they fully deserved the win. We were nowhere near the levels we’ve hit in recent weeks.”Too many of our big players didn’t perform to the levels where they’ve been at in the last few weeks, simple as that. “We’ve had a bad day, which happens, but then you’re required to do the basics better.“I don’t think we defended well enough, I don’t think we got after the ball well enough, and I don’t think we did enough to put Leicester out of their stride. We got what we deserved, which was nothing.” Leicester’s attempts to exploit City in wide areas reaped rich rewards and ensured the Tigers shipped three goals in the Championship for the first time since November last year. Bruce added: “You can analyse all you like but we weren’t good enough.”When it’s not going for you, sometimes you have to be more resilient. We have to work on that. “We didn’t get hold of the ball often enough. They were better on the day and sometimes you have to hold your hands up and learn from it.”

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18th September 2012 Tuesday the Tigers played Leeds United at Elland Road and came away with a deserved 2-3 victory, again playing exciting attacking football. At the end still 4th in the league after this 6th game.  Report from Amber Nectar 19th Sept 2012….

A corner kick, and nervelessly the Hull City defence sets itself up to combat the threat of a Leeds United team seeking an equaliser. The game is old, but more than enough minutes remain for someone to change its course with one swipe of a boot or crane of a neck muscle. The Tiger Nation, marooned as far away as possible from the action in an opposite diagonal corner, continue to bellow their encouragement as the set-piece drifts into the box and, joyously, is headed clear.  Woah, wait a minute, look at this… Just as our ludicrous placement in this corner had made it hard to see the set-piece, it duly made it crazily obvious that here, now, was a serious counter attack threat. On the left wing, just inside his own half, Jay Simpson was collecting the ball and three, four players in black change kits were devouring the yards to support him. Simpson pinged the ball with deadly accuracy the breadth of the Elland Road pitch on to the toe of the sprinting Corry Evans. He collected with break of neither stride nor sweat, and had a decision to make. Men were arriving in the box of both colours and a cross was on, but a better crosser of the ball was supporting him on the overlap. He made the right decision, slowing down to a pacy trot to give Ahmed Elmohamady enough head start to his right and then slide ruled the pass his way, taking out the desperate, outnumbered covering defender in the process. Elmohamady, a savage and destructive force down his flank all evening, collected and, by now with the play right in front of our noses, we knew the cross would be good. From him, they always are. In the corner of a couple of thousand eyes, we could see men making lung-obliterating runs towards the six yard area as the ball was delivered. Defenders and goalkeeper couldn’t deal with it. It went through the lot of them, distracted by both the determination of the numerous City athletes who had done the whole pitch to be there, plus their own wild limitations. The ball trundled to the back post and Robert Koren couldn’t miss. Robert Koren wouldn’t miss. And Robert Koren didn’t miss.

A counter attack goal. The most joyful sort of goal you can score, in many ways. Usually because by definition they are created when you are under the cosh, protecting something priceless, and then confound and neutralise any spirit and hope left in your adversaries in doing so. And City had just done this at, of all places, Elland Road.  Few goals will ever be celebrated as wildly as this one in the lives of the current generation of City fans. Ian Ashbee at Yeovil, Caleb Folan against Watford, Dean Windass at Wembley, Geovanni at Arsenal. Now Koren, on the soiled, featureless, ugly backyard of Leeds United, can be pencilled on to the list. The Slovene’s goal came with 14 minutes to go and made the scoreline Leeds 1 City 3. That it didn’t stay that way flatters Leeds United in a way that even a club that kissed its mother goodnight every evening without fail and gave tinned food to the old folks at harvest festival times each year wouldn’t deserve. But no matter. We’d seen a wonderful goal cap a wonderful, triumphant, definitive night.

Double back an hour and a half, if you would. Steve Bruce would have preferred not to change it, but had to due to injury to Seyi Olofinjana. Evans replaced him and there was room as a result for Jamie Devitt on the bench. The line-up, familiar and gifted, read thus: Amos; Elmohamady, Chester, Faye, Bruce, Dudgeon; Evans, Koren, Quinn; Simpson, Aluko. Leeds included ex-City loanee Lee Peltier at right back. The game didn’t start well for City, to state the obvious. El-Hadji Diouf, noxious and dangerous in equal measure, kept close control of the ball on the City byline with Joe Dudgeon the man facing him, and took an age to go down when the City lefty stuck a toe across him. Probably a foul, almost definitely a foul. But a penalty? The officials’ indecision was final. Neither the referee nor his subordinate on that side gave anything for a few seconds, then the assistant most belatedly raised his flag for an infringement and the referee, with surprise on his face, pointed to the spot. City players and fans went mad and the referee correctly felt the need to pop over to his assistant and find out what was going on. A short discussion later and the spot kick was confirmed. Luciano Becchio scored it, though Ben Amos guessed correctly and got a glove very close to the low ball to his left.

You could pontificate for ages about this but it can be summed up thus: it was a foul, it was outside the box, the linesman dropped a clanger and the referee didn’t have the bottle to overrule him.

 

Beyond that, it really rocked City. For the next 15 minutes or so, they struggled to string passes together, trap the ball properly, make clean tackles, concentrate, everything. Evans especially had no touch, composure or, frankly, physical evidence exuding from his person that suggested he’d ever entered a field of play before. It was alarming, disconcerting, odd and, given that we’d just humped Millwall and were now playing the most prized League game of the season, typical of City. Fortunately, this team is made of sterner, meaner stuff and before long eleven shakes of the head removed the sleep and began again. During this period, the referee managed to anger City fans further by not penalising either team (free kick) or player (booking at least) when Samuel Byram showed every stud on his boots in flying through Abdoulaye Faye who, not for the first time this season, rolled around like a dog that’d found some nocturnal fox dung for a while before getting to his feet to threaten the perpetrator. This second piece of injustice, admittedly not aided by Faye’s reaction, seemed to sting the Tigers into the right sort of response, though in our corner of despondency the 34-pounders were already worried that a further blemish on our record at Elland Road was going to be stamped. Diouf was running the game at this stage and had already set up a tremendous second chance for Becchio whose shot was blocked well by an onrushing Amos, before Rodolph Austin’s follow-up was barricaded with some tribulation by the centre backs. The cleared ball was quickly returned to the resourceful Austin who shot low for goal but again Amos was down well. If there’s a fool proof way to show your gratitude at not going 2-0 down, it’s to instantaneously make it 1-1. City had regrouped properly by the time the half hour mark approached, and after Aluko ran at the Leeds defence in the box, two defenders scuffed a clearance under pressure from Koren straight to Elmohamady, who belted in a fine shot from the angle.

Six minutes later, the joy had become euphoria. City won a corner which was half cleared to Simpson. His lay back to Elmohamady produced the cutest of crosses to the far post where Faye was unmarked and had no problem in nutting home. That’s three scoring games in a row for our new muscular centre back, which itself must be some kind of club record. The goal was greeted not only by raucous cheering and insane capering, but also a scarlet flare that sent clouds over the Tiger Nation and local bobbies reaching for their video cameras.

So, 2-1, quite suddenly, and from this moment onwards City were in absolute command. There was little from the Leeds team to the break and absolutely nothing but deathly silence from the home supporters. It says a lot when the actual players – Diouf and Paddy Kenny excepted – are now the most sympathetic grouping associated with Leeds United Football Club. They are Leeds United, in their mis-shaped hovel of a ground, with Ken Bates as chairman, Neil Warnock as manager and the current incarnation of Leeds fans – bitter, grand sense of entitlement, drizzled with seekers of alleged glory from housing estates in Driffield and Hebden Bridge who barely know a crossbar from a corner flag, and think that Paul Madeley was the bloke who presented This Morning. It could have been more before the break. Stephen Quinn, who has made as good a start to his City career as anyone in recent memory, sent a gorgeous reverse ball into Sone Aluko’s path and the Nigerian international scampered menacingly towards the Leeds area before his ankles were taken. Koren curled the free kick round the wall but Kenny got down well to paw it away. Aluko then dipped and swerved through two defenders as if they weren’t there before aiming a right footed shot inches wide.

Half time, leading, dominating, thrilling. And unlike previous encounters here, this City team had a feeling for the occasion and a knowledge of where they were and what it represented. Though the difference between the two was only one goal, nobody seemed to be even considering any kind of Leeds comeback. That was some feat in itself. Much was made, correctly, of the admission prices at Elland Road and a good number of City fans whose mugs are familiar on match days made a conscious choice through a mixture of principle and prudence to stay away. Heads were ruling hearts wherever you turned. The fact that tickets were available at the gate – Leeds United v Hull City, tickets available at the gate, read that again – says a lot about the attitude, laudable and mature, of some City fans. They will be popular with their families for sacrificing the occasion, the kids can have a day out in Brid and an extra flake with their ice cream, the brownie points will be stacking up and everyone they hold dear to them will consider them heroic, saintly, selfless. But none of that means they’re not kicking themselves today. The second half was less of an event, initially. City forced two early corners, both of which were cleared and then Diouf was comprehensively defeated by a magnificent Dudgeon tackle on the edge of the City box as he approached a shooting position. Aluko was then robbed by Austin as he got needlessly arrogant in possession, but Amos came to the rescue with a good save. And City nearly scored a beauty courtesy of a stop-start bit of magic on the byline by Elmohamady that nearly drilled his marker into the ground. The cross was beautifully placed on to Simpson’s head at the far post, but he put it agonisingly wide. Kenny’s goalkick was low and directionless, Dudgeon slid into intercept and the peculiar ricochet reached Aluko, who was in on goal but fluffed the shot under pressure. At the other end, Amos made a tidy stop low down from sub Dominic Poleon, an instant threat upon his introduction for the listless Becchio. Diouf then gave Austin a shooting chance that he swiped over, prior to Diouf forcing a corner that Faye cleared conclusively towards Simpson on the left and, well, assuming you aren’t reading this report backwards, you know the rest. The celebrations were immense. Not just the fans – that’s a given, especially at Leeds – but every outfield player joined in. Faye was the last to arrive, taking on a role vacated by Bernard Mendy as the squad member deployed to play clownish, comedic cheerleader to a Tiger Nation in need of little assistance when it comes to going hatstand at goalscoring time. The ten players gathered at the corner flag as one to salute the goal and, now, the victory. A victory at Leeds United, a first for 25 years, and only a third ever. There were 14 minutes left plus time added on but no way was it going to be flunked now. We had our (big) money’s worth. “Mauled by the Tigers” got yet another airing. There was a long period in recent history when we simply had no cause whatsoever to sing this much-loved song. You can only dare do it once you have a two-goal cushion. But now, for the third match in a row, our camp and unique bit of choreography was on display for the deathly silent Leeds fans to observe, educating them, belittling them, crushing them. It felt fantastic. Leeds had little to give back now, they seemed spent. Amos had one save to make before the 90 minute mark was up, from Byram’s shot along the ground. City made two late changes, allowing Koren and Simpson massive ovations, five minutes were added and Leeds sub Andy Gray scored a header that, not unusually, made the last knock-ins of the game a bit nervy, during which time Amos got rather stupidly booked. Peltier slapped one high over the bar from distance afterwards and, although the remainder of the game was in the City half, the points and the bragging rights were secure. Beyond the importance of this specific fixture, it also gives City three straight wins, during which ten goals have been scored. This game also marked the first goals on our travels, as well as the first away win to come with it. But as it’s September and the season has much left to give – and take away – that can be left for another day. What matters in the short term is the victory over Leeds, a club even more easy to despise than before (which is some achievement; they can almost be admired for becoming even more diabolical), and it was a victory gained by workrate, talent, togetherness and sheer footballing brilliance. We’re amazingly good. It will take some performance and result to beat this one but there’s little doubt that this excellent team is capable of it.

 

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15th September 2012 Saturday City played Millwall at the KC in their 5 th League game and won 4-1 in a game that most observers reckon included the best first half they had ever seen the Tigers perform. It was 4-0 at half time with goals from Simpson 32, Faye 36, Aluko 40, and Koren 14. Henderson got one back for Millwall in the 63rd minute. Steve Bruce fielded the same starting line and bench as the previous league game.  The Tigers move up to  4th place after the game. This report from Amber Nectar Sun 16.09.12:-

This report from Amber Nectar Sun 16.09.12:-

Be honest – what were you expecting when Steve Bruce took over at City? If it sounds a little like this, I suspect you aren’t alone: “dour, but effective. Probably won’t see as much good football as last season, may get a few more doughty 1-0s though”.

Those sentiments feel a little small and silly this afternoon. City’s 4-1 humping of Millwall was our first four-goal haul since the Watford play-off game over four years ago, and scoring them all in the opening 45 was the first time since a 4-0 caning of Hartlepool at Boothferry Park in January 1999. It’s only the second time since 2004 we’ve scored seven goals in two home games. And so on.

So from our lofty position in fourth, let’s allow the manager nothing but credit for the job he’s doing so far. Few expected such an overwhelming emphasis on attack. His decision to move to 5-3-2 was unexpected and not enthusiastically greeted, but it’s introduced both and murderous purpose. He’s made ruthless decisions (Proschwitz, Rosenior, Stewart), all of which seem wholly vindicated at present. He’s entitled to a smile of satisfaction today.

Summer had one final hurrah for us at the Circle yesterday, with blue skies and warm sunshine greeting those present. Oh yes, and lengthy queues. It’s still not entirely clear why scanning the barcode on a card should take longer than tearing a slip of paper from a booklet, but another irritatingly long wait for entry was required.

By that time, we already knew that the side was unchanged from the one that cuffed Bolton 3-1 a fortnight ago – indeed, the bench was identical too. Why change a winning formula (we’ll return to this in a moment)? Therefore, City lined up: Amos; Elmohamady, Chester, Faye, Bruce, Dudgeon; Olofinjana, Koren, Quinn; Simpson, Aluko.

Millwall had enjoyed an impressive 3-1 victory of their own last time out, overcoming Middlesbrough at the New Den. That ought to have motivated them to tackle City on their own terms – yet they opted to change their usual tactics to match City’s 5-3-2 formation. It was to backfire quite spectacularly.

City began the game attacking the comically desolate away end, populated by fewer than 100 Millwall fans. Their sum total of 1 chant throughout the game (we aren’t exaggerating) is almost certainly a record of some sort for the Circle.

Happily, our marvellous local police, in these straitened times, still found time to issue dire warnings before the game and resources to outnumber the visiting support. Quite how they expected 400 Millwall fans to arrive when the game was all-ticket and a telephone call to the Den on Friday afternoon could have gleaned an accurate figure escapes us. Police intelligence, indeed – and a bit of a shame that no-one at the Hull Daily Mail picked them up on it.

To the football! City took less than a minute to put together their first attack of the game, a decisive statement of intent. Koren fed Aluko, who blatted a shot from 20 yards straight at Millwall keeper Maik Taylor.

At the outset, let us apologise if not every single attack is recorded here. The post-match statistics suggest that City had a remarkable 26 shots on goal, 17 on target. Our collective memory is insufficient to store them all; you maybe have more to do on a Sunday afternoon than wade through them all.

There was an evident gulf in class straight away. The Circle scented blood as Millwall looked hopelessly disjointed, permitting City to advance from the back to the front with startling ease, usually with just a couple of simple passes. The visitors’ midfield, struggling to adapt to their unusual arrangement, allowed Koren to wander unmolested, permitted Quinn to move wide and let both full-backs stampede forward – it was thrilling to watch City so completely dominate a side. All it needed was a goal…and when it arrived, there was more than a feeling of familiarity about it.

Seyi Olofinjana, the rearmost of the midfield trio, rolled the ball sideways to Robert Koren, some 45 yards from goal. He was unaccountably allowed to advance 20 yards without pressure being applied. Liam Trotter was the nearest Millwall player to him, but he was on the scene far too late to prevent Koren from shooting from a little outside of the area. A grave mistake, as every Championship side must know by now. Yet Koren’s shot was simply watched by Taylor, which from the East Stand suggested it was flying wide. Then the net bulged, Koren hared off in delight, and we joyously celebrated yet another Koren Long Range Goal.

Was the Millwall keeper unsighted? Had the ball swerved, or taken an unhelpful deflection? It wasn’t easy to deduce, though it appeared not. Whatever occurred, it was a lead City deserved for such a powerful opening. There were 14 minutes on the clock, and we bayed for more – this time, unlike in recent times, in expectation rather than hope.

Bruce was booked for a foul on Henry as Millwall showed a brief glimpse of resistance, with Malone and Henderson both having shots that didn’t unduly alarm Amos – and then it was 2-0.

Elmohamady stoutly won a high ball and nodded it to Quinn wide on the right, who set himself to curl a ball to the far post with his left foot. Jay Simpson, formerly of Millwall, had intelligently stolen a yard of space, his would-be marker got underneath the ball and the City striker precisely controlled the pass and stroked a calm pass into the net with one liquid movement. A fine goal combining vision and execution, and the Circle was awash with delight.

With ten minutes remaining of the first half, City went berserk. A corner broke down for the Tigers, being cleared 35 yards out on the left. The ball was steered into James Chester on the edge of the area, who dummied and turned sharply, raced to the goal-line and – with his left foot – chipped over a delightful cross that Faye (unmarked) absolutely thundered into the goal with a header that little short of a breezeblock wall could have prevented. Another superb goal, and to see a City centre-back creating it with such skill and confidence, well, we were hugging ourselves with glee at this point.

Somehow it got even better. City broke from their own goal with coruscating speed and skill, with Aluko feeding Simpson 35 yards out. The newly confident Simpson had only thoughts of glory on his mind and he immediately turned and ran goalwards, being crudely fouled by Robinson. Referee Mr Adcock played a brilliant advantage as the ball fell to the supporting Aluko, racing in at speed – he thumped the ball at goal from just inside the area and it whizzed past Taylor to make it, improbably, City 4-0 Millwall.

City had punctuated all of these goals with more chances, too numerous to actually recall, but it was nearly five on the break when Quinn’s shot was clumsily mishandled by Taylor, and he only just recovered to stop the ball dribbling over his line. Nonetheless, 4-0 was a useful lead at the break.

Most of all, it was a winning lead. It’s just about conceivable that a 3-0 deficit can be overturned – Torquay did it to us in 1997 after all – but English football has precious few instances of a 4-0 scoreline not being enough for victory. So what would City do in the second half? After all, 4-0 rarely leads to 8-0, and often a first half blitzkrieg will yield to a more sedate second period.

So it proved. Millwall reverted to 4-4-2 and looked happier for doing so, while City still attempted to go forward, but just lacked a little of the magic from earlier. Was energy being subconsciously conserved ahead of the Leeds game on Tuesday night? Maybe. And if so that’s understandable. Why try to win a game you’ve already won?

Not that City went all defensive on us, you understand. Elmohamady splattered a shot onto the crossbar, Koren missed a chance after a neat dragback by Simpson, but the sparkle had faded a little. Happily the atmosphere remained cheery and upbeat. The contemptible Millwall support was counted, and declared to be even lower than their 161 last season. Happy songs were sung, live league tables were pored over – we enjoyed ourselves in a way that’s not been seen for a while.

On the hour, Steve Bruce withdrew Seyi Olofinjana for Corry Evans, the big Nigerian given a fine hand for an effort that may have been overshadowed by City’s attacking prowess, but which nonetheless contributed admirably to a complete midfield rout.

Chances continued to arrive, with Simpson and Aluko both missing the opportunity to record a brace, before a goal finally did arrive…for Millwall. A deep cross from the Lions’ right saw Henderson given space, and he directed a fine header across goal and past Amos. A neat goal, celebrated with all the non-enthusiasm you may expect.

On we went, largely unruffled and with no-one in the slightest bit concerned about the potential for a comeback. Simpson should have scored with a shot on the left he dragged wide of Taylor’s far post, before he teed up Koren with a shot that was mishit and bobbled wide.

McShane replaced Bruce as City increasingly settled for what they had, which suited Millwall just fine. Further chances did arrive, with Aluko have a fine shot from distance tipped over by the overworked Taylor, but save for Rosenior coming on for Aluko, that was about it.

That first half will live long in the memory. City  were strong, ruthless, direct, skilful and confident. Millwall were utterly hopeless, and the game does need to be viewed in that context, but it’s hard to imagine any side at this level living with the Tigers on that form.

If there any tiny regrets, they don’t concern Millwall’s irrelevant goal, it’s that City didn’t manage to record a truly enormous win. There were seven or eight goals to be had there, and with slightly sharper finishing Millwall could have suffered a defeat for the ages.

But that’s impossibly churlish. Every single player played superbly, marrying hard work with skill and vision. That sort of standard is difficult to maintain throughout a whole season, but its occasional reappearance should guarantee a few more memorable victories such as this one. Meanwhile, just getting anywhere near to that level of performance will ensure we stay at this end of the table.

Three wins from the opening five games puts us fifth, and is extremely useful with two dauntingly difficult away games approaching. City never, ever win at Leeds. Except for when they did. But that’s very much the exception. Elland Road is a long-term graveyard of Tiger hopes – but if we something approaching the quality of the first half yesterday, Leeds haven’t got a chance. Meanwhile, Steve Bruce is rapidly converting the Tiger Nation to his cause and giving us reason to believe that a serious promotion push is being developed. Well played, City. And well done Mr Bruce.

Plus this great report on Steve Bruce tactics from The Yorkshire Post….

By Richard Sutcliffe at KC Stadium
Published on Monday 17 September 2012 08:24

IMITATION, we are told, is the sincerest form of flattery.
Well if that really is the case then Hull City must be feeling very good about themselves right now after making light work of the second team in a row to arrive at the KC Stadium with an unfamiliar formation designed to try to counter the attacking threat of the hosts.

A fortnight after Bolton Wanderers manager Owen Coyle had ditched his favoured 4-4-2 when visiting the East Riding, Millwall’s Kenny Jackett opted to attempt to match the 3-5-2 set-up that Steve Bruce has adopted to get the best out of the resources at his disposal.
It was a bold move considering the Lions rarely, if ever, field a three-man defence. Much to Jackett’s frustration, it was also one that back-fired badly as City romped to a victory that was far more emphatic than the scoreline suggests.

Not only did the Tigers maul the Lions to such an extent that they managed 27 efforts on goal, a commendable 17 of which were on target.

But if veteran goalkeeper Maik Taylor had not been in outstanding form then the KC could easily have seen a new record score to eclipse the 6-1 hammerings handed out to Tranmere Rovers and Kidderminster Harriers soon after the switch from Boothferry Park was made a little under a decade ago.

As it was, Hull scored four goals without reply in the first half to kill the Lions off and leave manager Bruce delighted with his players.

“It is 10 years since I played this formation,” said the City manager, whose side travel to Leeds United and Leicester City in the coming seven days.

“But when you analyse things, everyone is comfortable in their position. I want the team to play and I want us to entertain.

“The first half, in particular, was electrifying. There won’t be many teams able to match us if we hit those standards.

“The difficult thing for me (when coming in during the summer) was to change the mentality in terms of the way we had played over the past 18 months.

“This system suits the players we have got here. And believe me, we have got some very talented players.

“When Jay Simpson, Sone Aluko, Robert Koren, Seyi Olofinjana and Stephen Quinn play with confidence, they are a handful.

“Having players like that means teams are coming here and changing to try and deal with us. That is the second team in a row who have come here and changed (formation).

“Bolton certainly did and Millwall did. They changed their system to try and accommodate us but came unstuck.”

Jackett admitted afterwards that his gamble of trying to match City man for man in midfield had been a mistake.

He switched back to the more familiar 4-4-2 eight minutes before the interval but by then City were already three goals to the good.

The hosts had gone ahead in the 14th minute courtesy of a sweet passing move that saw Simpson drop deep to collect a pass from Alex Bruce before turning to find Koren.

With the Lions defence back-pedalling furiously, the Tigers captain looked up and hit a 20-yard shot that took a deflection to leave Taylor wrong-footed as the ball flew into the corner of the net.

City doubled their advantage just after the half-hour mark courtesy of a deft touch and finish from the vastly improved Simpson, who had been found by a wonderfully flighted pass from Stephen Quinn that deceived the hapless Karleigh Osborne.

A third goal followed when James Chester chased a Koren pass to the byline before crossing for Abdoulaye Faye to convert.

The second goal in as many outings for a defender who Bruce says has lost eight kilos in the last six weeks was the cue for Jackett to switch back to 4-4-2.

But it did little good, Aluko notching City’s fourth just before the break after referee James Adcock had played an excellent advantage after Simpson had been fouled when slipping the ball to his strike partner.

There was no way back for Millwall now with the best they could hope for being spared further embarrassment.

Thanks to Taylor’s heroics in goal, they managed that small feat as the veteran goalkeeper kept out second-half efforts from Ahmed Elmohamady, Corry Evans and Aluko to go with several impressive saves in the opening 45 minutes.

Millwall also snatched a goal of their own when former Sheffield United striker Darius Henderson headed past goalkeeper Ben Amos after being picked out by a deep right wing cross from Alan Dunne.

Even so, there was no denying at the final whistle who the afternoon had belonged to as the 14,756 crowd rose to salute the Tigers.

Aluko, one of six Bruce signings in the starting line-up, said: “I don’t think things could have gone any better for the team.

“It went to plan, though we maybe could have scored a couple more.

“We created enough chances and we kept the ball really well. So, we have to be pleased with that performance.

“The thing that has changed from the first few games is we are taking our chances now. We were creating opportunities at the start but missed them.

“Seven goals in two games shows we are now being more clinical.

“The system is 3-5-2 but because of how we play, it is very flexible. We interchange a lot and rotate. That makes it hard for other teams to pick us up.

“They can’t think, ‘That’s the one player I am up against today’. If they try that, they will be dragged all over the shop.”

Leeds and Leicester have been warned.

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14th September 2012 Hull City have today announced they have settled all differences between the club and former manager Nick Barmby.  Such a pity because now we will never know what may have been. This was posted on the Club website today:-

Nick Barmby and Hull City FC are pleased to announce that they have resolved all issues arising from the termination of Nick Barmby’s employment as Manager of the Club in May of this year. Nick Barmby left the Club following comments made to the media about the Club’s transfer policy. Nick accepts that his comments could have been misconstrued. The Club now accepts that Nick Barmby did not in any of his interviews with the media have any intention of disparaging the Club or its owners.

 

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1st September 2012 Saturday – Tigers play Bolton at the KC, new faces Stephen Quinn, and Ahmed Elmohamady in the starting line-up and Proschwitz on the bench.

A good day for City fans this; we finally found goal scoring boots and that after falling behind 0-1. In the end we could have scored more with Jay Simpson having a good goal disallowed.  Tigers are now 5 th  in the league with 7 points.  Steve Bruce handed an instant début to the new recruits Ahmed Elmohamady and Stephen Quinn, in this 3-5-2 formation : Amos; Chester, Faye, Bruce; Dudgeon, Koren, Olofinjana, Quinn, Elmohamady; Aluko & Simpson. Also to note this was Tigers 5 th League game victory in a row at the KC.

This report from City Independent…..Hull City 3-1 Bolton Wanderers – REPORT

After rushing to Circle central from shooting gold on the archery range with the nippers, the ‘inspire a generation’ Olympic legacy is frankly playing havoc with my pre-game drinking routine. Watching City sober is weird let me tell you. A bonus though, I met Kingston Kid en route who introduced me for the first time to Steve Waggy 64 who had come from afar. Part timer and message board trouble causer Sunn40 was in surprise attendance too… trying to get in the away end with a home ticket.  A case in point I think you will find.

The game saw Steve Bruce employ a 3-5-2 formation and it is difficult to see a swift return to 4-4-2 occurring on this evidence. Amos looked solid between the City sticks and certainly beginning to settle in nicely. The central defensive triumvirate of Chester, Faye and Bruce appeared rock like, with the latter have his best game for the Tigers by some distance. None of the four could be blamed for the goal we did concede which we’ll paint over later.  In the middle of the park, the five selected today provided the lacking drive and purpose our midfield play has desperately required. Stephen Quinn was excellent and provided many a wry smile throughout as the squealing pigs down the M18 would be receiving regular updates on how magnificently their talisman was doing for his new club. Koren, Aluko, Dudgeon and fellow débutante Ahmed Elmohamady – who impressed likewise – provided the ammo to puncture Bolton’s resistance and City looked consistently dangerous as a consequence.  Indeed, as good as the defence was, the mid-fielders to a man, could post valid cases for man of the match consideration. But for me – although Quinn got it and I wouldn’t protest over it – Jay Simpson is a reborn City striker. Whatever motivation Steve Bruce has used to get the ex-Arsenal striker player has clearly worked. Simpson is like a new signing. His movement and play was a constant threat to Bolton. Another quality performance deserved the goal he got, which was shamelessly chalked off. 

The 3-1 victory was made all the more impressive courtesy of a totally undeserved slap in the face for the hosts. An Eagles free-kick from 30 yards was wickedly deflected to wrong foot Amos in goal and the ball cruelly spiralled in to the far corner to give Bolton an unexpected 17th minute lead. I’m watching it and thinking; we’ve never been a lucky side. It was so harsh on City who had started brightly, Elmohamady and Aluko in particular causing persistent problems for the visitors. City got their deserved rewards in the 29th minute with a sumptuous passing move crowned by Sone Aluko stroking the ball home in the centre of the Bolton box. Ironically, it took a deflection, but everyone in the stadium knew the move had goal written all over it as City carved the visitors open with aplomb. The scores now level, City accelerated their case to get in front and barring the last minute of injury time, Bolton were glad of the half time cuppa.

The 15 minute interlude provided minimal and temporary respite for Bolton though, as Steve Bruce in the opposite changing room was revving up his charges for an all-out assault on Bolton. I have no idea what was said at the break, but please say it again – and keep saying it – as City simply overpowered their visitors in three blistering second half minutes upon the restart. It began with City robbing the ball from Bolton’s kick off…

 

A City corner was earned seconds in to half two. The ball was hoisted in underneath Bogdan towards the back post and man mountain Abdoulaye Faye powered in a header at the far post to give City the lead and send the home fans in to raptures. The celebrations had barely died down when the Tigers were at it again. Again down the right Simpson did magnificently well to skin two players and hit the by line. The striker pulled back cutely to find the lung busting run from Stephen Quinn timed to perfection to tap in from 6 yards.

The stadium erupted once more for the second time in three minutes and Bolton was utterly shell-shocked. And still City came. With the visitors rocking, another corner almost produced a carbon copy of the second goal, but Faye’s header incredibly hit both posts after agonizingly rolling along the line to tease the hosts. It really could and should have been 4-1 City. Lucky, lucky Bolton

The visitors got a further break yet again, when Simpson hounded down a long clearance bouncing in to the Bolton box. Challenging Bogdan and placing himself between the ball and keeper, the lively City forward swivelled to place the ball in to the bottom corner, but the referee bottled it, calling a highly dubious foul in favour of the visitors. Had City cashed in and received better fare with the rub of the green, the Bolton fans could hardly complain at being routed 5-1 instead of 3-1. The gulf between the sides was enormous.  With taunts about Owen Coyle’s position as Bolton boss ringing in the ears of sparsely populated away end, instead, those still left inside watching their team’s demise decided to join in with City’s pointed chanting. The Tigers earned their victory and then some with a solid – and at times – spectacular performances that provide a happy glow as the supporters left the Circle. We’re 5th; we’re rock solid at the back and now were finally starting to score goals. Yep, the beer and curry was especially tasty post match, let me tell you…

Hull City: Amos, Chester, Faye, Bruce, Elmohamady, Dudgeon, Olofinjana, Quinn, Koren (McShane 88), Aluko (Evans 69), Simpson (McLean 90)
Subs Not Used: Oxley, Rosenior, Dawson, Proschwitz
Booked: Evans
Goals: Aluko 29, Faye 46, Quinn 49

Bolton Wanderers: Bogdan, Mears, Ream, Knight, Ricketts, Chung-Yong, Spearing, Andrews (Afobe 53), M Davies, Eagles, K Davies (Sordell 79)
Subs Not Used: Lonergan, Alonso, Mills, Petrov, Pratley
Booked: M Davies
Goals: Eagles 17

Referee: Christopher Sarginson
Attendance: 15,304

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