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Archive for February, 2016

26th February 2016 KC Stadium Friday: A well drilled Sheffield team would not let Hull City get a decent shot on goal and although they did get some chances the home team could not get the ball in the net.

The second half in particular saw the Owls sitting back and soaking up anything that the forward driving Tigers could take to them. There was always two lines of disciplined defenders to weave through.

The strangest bit of entertainment was the sending off of danger man Forestieri in the dying minutes of the game (91′). He was tackled while in full flow by Michael Dawson who clearly caught the Argentine born Italians right ankle. The City captain immediately apologised via the referee and a yellow card was produced. However it was waived over the Italians head and because it was his 2nd yellow it was followed by a red. Needless to say the Italian was beside himself with dismay.

Bruce played a 4:3:3 formation and it didn’t really work. We are better with flying wingers plus overlapping fullbacks.

A win for Burnley or even Middlesbrough could see us lose the top spot.

Steve Bruce….

“In the grand scheme of things, we’ll take the point but we’re disappointed we didn’t get the three.

“In the second half in particular, we were the dominant side but we missed the opportunities we had.

“There comes the frustration because we’ve created chances, we’ve played well enough, and it just wasn’t our night in front of goal.”

Carlos Carvalhal (Sheffield Wednesday Head Coach)…..

“It was a good point. They started to move the ball well in the second half and we had more problems then.

(On the red card) “I think it was a bad decision. You can see from the reaction of the players and the Hull player apologised to the referee. It was a big mistake.

“There’s nothing I can do about it because we can’t appeal against it.”

Hull City: McGregor, Odubajo, Dawson, Davies, Robertson, Snodgrass, (Elmohamady 90’+3′), Livermore, Meyler (Powell 62′), Clucas, Diamé (Akpom 78′). Bench Unused: Huddlestone, Maguire, Maloney, Jakupovic.

Sheffield Wednesday: Westwood, Palmer, Lees, Turner, Bennet, McGeady (Wallace 64′), Lee, Hutchinson (Lopez 67′), Bannan, Forestieri, Hooper (Nuhui 83′). Bench Unused: Loovens, McGugan, Lucas Joao, Price.

dawson

Michael Dawson apologised to the referee for his trip on Forestieri

 

 

 

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23rd February 2016 Tuesday Portman Road: The Tigers stay top of the Championship tonight, handing out a rare Tuesday night defeat to the Tractor Boys.

In a spell of great football in the opening 10 minutes or so of the second half Bruce’s boys played some excellent stuff and it was Diamé who got the all important goal in the 48′. He latched on to a lovely through ball from the mercurial Andrew Robertson and calmly chipped it over the keeper.

City now have 63 points, one more than Burnley, but with a game in hand over the Clarets, who beat Forest tonight 1-0. Middlesbrough who walloped Cardiff tonight 3-1 have 61 points but a game in hand over Hull City. The Tigers have the best goal difference in this very close league.

City have to turn out again in three days time against Sheffield Wednesday at the KC.

Steve Bruce….

“It was a case of job done. We were up against a really committed team in the first half, which mirrored their manager in terms of effort and endeavour.

“But we had that bit of class in the second half and we could have actually put the game to bed but we didn’t take our opportunities.

“When you are top of the league, you know teams are going to have a go at you and you have to earn the right to play. Mo was man of the match for me, it was a wonderful goal.”

mo diamé

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20th February 2016 Emirates: Wenger’s FA Cup holders found Hull City too tough to break down in this FA Cup 5th round tie and both teams will meet again at the KC.

Neither side wanted a replay, but one man Eldin Jakupovic made sure there would be one. A superb display by the Swiss stopper denied the Gunners time after time. He made 11 saves during the tie. One particular save from Joel Campbell’s free kick was a ‘finger tip masterpiece’.

Both sides made wholesale changes from their previous fixture (Arsenal 9, Hull City 10).

The visitors did most of the defending in both halves. Their best chances came in the second half when Aluko had a couple, but was either called offside or failed to find the net.

Arsenal made 24 on target attempts at City’s goal but a resilient and organised defence was too good for them.

In the first half Alex Bruce could easily have been penalised for handball in the box but Mike Dean ruled it was OK.

There will be a lot of fuss from Arsenal lovers, bloggers and press etc., claiming the Gunners were rubbish today…but they played well and were a bit unlucky. But as usual it’s Hull City, so if your high flying tram can’t beat them….they must be rubbish.

Steve Bruce…..

“I don’t know when we’re going to play the replay. That’s added to the fixture pile-up we’ve got.

“We made 10 changes and we rode our luck a bit, but the team deserved it for the spirit and the 100% effort they gave.

“It bodes well when I see the strength in depth we’ve got, because we’re going to need it.

“Josh Tymon didn’t look out of his depth and it’s great to see someone from the academy, from Hull, come in and wear the shirt.”

Crouching Tiger…………………..

jakupovic

Arsene Wenger…..

“The replay is not especially good news but Hull defended very well.

“We were not incisive or accurate enough in our passing in the final third. As long as they did not concede, they maintained with how they played. We had 20 shots, 70% possession, but no goals.

“I cannot influence the referee’s decisions, only the technical quality of my team. If we have no injuries, we can cope with the fixtures.

“I think FA Cup replays is a particularity of the English rules and you have to respect that.”

And Eldin Jakupovic…

“We are happy as a team and I’m very happy because my family was here. They came from Switzerland and they came from Hull” .

“I had a great performance against Arsenal but sometimes you need luck and that’s it.

“We knew from the beginning we were going to be behind the ball and we had to fight.

“I have to be patient and if I have a chance to play I will give my all. We are looking forward to the rematch against Arsenal but our big goal is to go back up to the Premier League.”
Hull City: Jakupovic, Maguire, Bruce, Davies, Elmo, Maloney, Taylor, (Huddlestone 55′), Meyler, Tymon (Odubajo 55′), Powell (Aluko 78′), Diomandé. Bench Unused: Hernandez, Diamé, Robertson, Kuciak.

Arsenal: Ospina, Chambers, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Flamini, Elneny, Campbell (Giroud 67′), Iwobe (Oxlade-Chamberlain 73′), Welbeck (Sanchez 67′), Walcott. Bench Unused: Monreal, Bellerin, Coquelin, Macey.

Whistler was….Mike Dean

 

jako

City’s hero

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16th February 2016 Tuesday KC Stadium: City couldn’t find the net but one point is welcome as it means they lead the Championship by two points.

With Middlesbrough only managing a draw last night against Leeds it would have been great to have the other two points in the bag.

Early on Akpom had a good chance with a header at the right hand side of the Brighton goal but failed to score.

City did have chances to score but in each case they were either not decisive enough or the defence blocked the shot.

A wonderful second half outside the box shot from Clucas had the Hull fans on their feet, but the keeper forced it away.

Brighton’s defence one way or another held out.

In all competitions the Tigers have only lost once in the last 9 matches.

Steve Bruce remarked….

“Fair play to Brighton, they have come and worked very hard and frustrated us.

“When you get a point away from home you are going to be happy with that. They have come with a game plan and it’s worked very well.

“We didn’t play well enough tonight and that’s going to happen. We take the point and move on.”

“I was expecting Brighton to stay with two up front, but they didn’t and they went with a lone striker and packed the midfield.
 
“They put ten men behind the ball and the longer it went on, the more frustrated we became. They had a game plan and they nailed it.
 
“I have to say that David Stockdale produced a fantastic save from Sam Clucas, somehow getting the ball onto the bar.
 
“If either team was going to win it, it was going to be us but if we’re being honest, we didn’t really play well enough.
 
“We needed a little bit of wit and wisdom, a little bit of creativity, and we needed our big players to take care of the ball better. Unfortunately that didn’t happen, but you’re going to get frustrating nights and edgy days over the next few weeks.
 
Let’s not forget, Brighton are only two places behind us in the table.
 
“It was always going to be a difficult game as they have been on a great run. There’s still a little gap between us and them, but as always, it’s all to play for.”

Hull City: Allan McGregor, Moses Odubajo, Curtis Davies, Tom Huddlestone (Isaac Hayden 61), Abel Hernandez, Robert Snodgrass (Chuba Akpom 71), Sam Clucas, Jake Livermore, Mohamed Diamé (Ahmed Elmohamady 82), Michael Dawson, Andrew Robertson. Bench Unused: Eldin Jakupovic, David Meyler, Harry Maguire, Adama Diomande.
Brighton: David Stockdale, Bruno, Lewis Dunk, Dale Stephens, Beram Kayal (Andrew Crofts 71), Tomer Hemed (Sam Baldock 71), Inigo Calderon, James Murphy, Connor Goldson, Anthony Knockaert (Jiri Skalak 85), Steve Sidwell. Bench Unused: Niki Maenpaa, Liam Rosenior, Bobby Zamora, Kazenga LuaLua.

 

 

 

 

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13th February 2016 Ewood Park: The Tigers found another gear in the second half of this game and the home side could not find a response.

In fact Blackburn didn’t have much to offer in this fixture…attacking ideas and flair being something missing today.

The partnership in attack of Hernandez and Diamé is now a feature of team selection and Steve Bruce’s philosophy of ‘don’t mend it if it’s not broken’ is paying dividends. A change though was the name of Tom Huddlestone in the starting line-up. I suppose Steve knows what he is doing.

Hernandez struck in the 53′ and Diamé just ten minutes later (albeit a shout for offside).

With Middlesbrough not playing until Sunday all Tigers fans eyes will be on the  result as a win for them will see them return to the top.

Fifty nine points now and things are looking good with a fully fit squad to choose from for the games to come.

Burnley ended their unbeaten winning run of eight games with a draw a Reading, but it’s still as tight as a nuns bum at the top of this league.

Steve Bruce was pleased with the performance when he spoke after the match…

“We’ve missed two or three chances late on which could have improved our goal difference but we thoroughly deserved the win in my opinion.

“I thought we were playing within ourselves in the first half and I wanted us to go and express ourselves and take the shackles off.

“We knew we had more in the tank and I thought in the second half we gave a very good performance where we could have scored three or four.

“That’s as good as we’ve played for a long time.”

Hull City: Allan McGregor, Moses Odubajo, Curtis Davies, Tom Huddlestone, Abel Hernandez (Chuba Akpom 75′), Robert Snodgrass (Ahmed Elmohamady 81′), Sam Clucas, Jake Livermore, Mohamed Diamé (David Meyler 85′), Michael Dawson, Andrew Robertson.
Blackburn Rovers: Jason Steele, Ben Marshall, Elliott Ward, Shane Duffy, Tommy Spurr, Corry Evans, Craig Conway, Darragh Lenihan, Jordi Gomez, Tony Watt (Chris Brown 55′), Simeon Jackson (Elliott Bennett 73′).

 

 

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6th February 2016 Saturday, Turf Moor: We don’t have much of a record at winning in this part of Lancashire, couple that with playing below par away most of this season and you could easily guess the outcome of this game.

It was hoped by all, and thought by some that we could carry the winning streak, winning ways, confidence and general form etc., across the pennines and put the record straight. No chance…. this is Hull City after all and the gods of football were not having it.

Despite the first half being close we eventually in the second gave the only goal away when McGregor ‘handed off’ a Barton shot in the 77′ straight to Vokes,  who didn’t miss the chance of scoring. So 1-0 with a quarter of an hour to go.

Just before that game deciding goal Bruce had made changes…..he decided that Hernandez needed to come off (in hindsight probably a mistake) and replaced him with Akpom (fresh from last weeks hat-trick) in the 76′ and Aluko for Diamé 75′. It might have done the job but didn’t; Akpom looked lively and might have got something on the scoreboard, but it was a tight game and the one goal was probably always going to be decisive.

Steve Bruce summed it up well….

“There was loads of heart and endeavour out there, and that from two top-class teams. It was never going to be a classic in weather like that.

“We carved out some great chances, but maybe we just missed that killer instinct in front of goal that you need.

“We’ve lost, but you just have to accept the result and move on. And we will do.

“We’ve played well in really difficult conditions. It’s been an opportunity missed for us to create a bit of daylight at the top, but I couldn’t fault the players.”

The Tigers still top the league thanks to Middlesbrough drawing at home to Blackburn. So now on equal points with the Smoggies who have a game in hand.

Hull City: Allan McGregor, Moses Odubajo, Curtis Davies, Abel Hernandez (Chuba Akpom 75), Robert Snodgrass, Sam Clucas, Jake Livermore (Tom Huddlestone 86), Mohamed Diame (Sone Aluko 75), Isaac Hayden, Michael Dawson, Andrew Robertson.
Burnley: Tom Heaton, Matthew Lowton, Michael Keane, Ben Mee, Andre Gray (Rouwen Hennings 90), Sam Vokes, Joey Barton, David Jones, George Boyd, Stephen Ward, Scott Arfield.

 

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