Dowie delights in Tigers' fighting spirit

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Iain Dowie hailed the battling spirit of his Hull side after goals from Jimmy Bullard and Craig Fagan gave the Tigers a vital 2-0 victory over Fulham at the KC Stadium.

The three points in Dowie's first home game in charge ended a five-game losing run and saw Hull move level on points with 17th-placed West Ham having played a game fewer. The new manager's selection was influenced by injury and illness and he was delighted to see his players bounce back in style from last week's last-gasp 3-2 defeat at Portsmouth.

Dowie said: "The fates have conspired against us a bit and I thought they (the players) responded in fantastic fashion. They played with guts and they played with desire."

He added: "Paul McShane lost his dad a week and a half ago, he's played two games - the lad's got a heart the size of a bucket. They're the sort of things you need in this sort of situation.

"[Ibrahima] Sonko's come in and done brilliantly and I thought Fagan and (Jozy) Altidore were a real handful so it was a pleasing display.

"The clean sheet was very, very important and we've got four goals in two games. The second goal was a fantastic goal and the least he (Fagan) deserved, I thought he was magnificent, he never stopped running.

The Fulham side showed six changes from the FA Cup defeat by Tottenham in midweek, and boss Roy Hodgson admitted afterwards he had rested Bobby Zamora, Damien Duff and Danny Murphy ahead of Thursday's Europa League quarter-final against Wolfsburg.

Hodgson, though, did not feel any of Hull's fellow strugglers could have cause for complaint.

He said: "What most managers should be saying is how well we've done to keep playing the same players week after week. I don't think it's fair for anybody to suggest we can [cope with the number of fixtures] with 11 players.

"The players who've come into the team, I think I'm entitled to say those players are more than capable of playing at this level - (Chris) Smalling's a £10million Manchester United player, (Kagisho) Dikgacoi plays for South Africa and Clint Dempsey is the star of the USA team. So I don't think we've done anything other than what anyone could expect us to do."

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Jimmy Bullard
Europa League
Tottenham Hotspur
Bobby Zamora
Premier League
Craig Fagan
Manchester United
Paul McShane
Damien Duff
Hull City
FA Cup
Clint Dempsey
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