Football

Hull sent crashing back down to earth

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Hull City crashed down back down to earth at Millwall on Saturday, suffering a 4-0 defeat Kenny Jackett's newly promoted side.

After a good home win over Swansea City, expectations were for a point at least from the New Den. However a disastrous defensive display cost the Tigers dear.

It didn't look good when midfielder Tom Cairney almost fell down the steps coming off the team coach, and it got progressively worse. City's defence had looked relatively solid against the Swans but on Saturday they managed to be the architects of their own downfall by failing to do the basics right.

Uncertainty from keeper Matt Duke led to Millwall's opener as he started to come for a corner he could never get, and Steve Morison powered home a header in front of his marker.

Millwall's second from Kevin Lisbie came as a result of a missed header by Andy Dawson as again the striker was allowed to get in front of the defender.

Anthony Gardner will feel he should have challenged Morison better as his looping header made it 3-0, and Trotter got ahead of three defenders to make it four from a pin point James Henry cross.

One of the few positives City can take from the game came was the introduction of new signing Robert Koren at half time. The Slovenia captain made an immediate impact on the game, and was unlucky not to score after linking up well with young striker Mark Cullen, another half time substitute.

Koren's departure from West Brom centered around his desire to play as a central midfielder, the role he adopts for his Country.

At present, Ian Ashbee and Tom Cairney currently occupy those two positions, but Koren scored nine goals for the Baggies and his country last season, and it could be that Koren plays as a second striker with John Bostock moving to the right where he finished the game on Saturday.

Still though the main Achilles heel for the Tigers is a lack of a main striker. Rumours persist of a move to bring in Arsenal's Jay Simpson, and it cannot come soon enough for fans at the KC Stadium.

Richard Garcia lasted only 45 minutes in the role of main striker on Saturday, and is far more at home on the right wing.

Daniel Cousin still finds himself as an unused substitute, yet large sections of the Hull contingent believe that he can score goals for City in the Championship if fully fit and given the opportunity to do so.

Whilst the striking limitations were well known before the weekend, Pearson must now have real doubts about his defence after conceding four poor goals and looking very short of confidence. They did improve with the introduction of Paul Mcshane prior to half time, but it didn't have an affect on the result.

It seems clear that Noberto Solano can only operate at right back if he has a right sided player who will cover for his forays forward, something Nigel Pearson is likely to address before the visit of Watford next Saturday.

How City react to this defeat is crucial, and they need to bounce back quickly. In-form Watford striker Danny Graham will test the fragile defence, and how they cope with him may determine the outcome of the game.

A former defender himself, Pearson will have to iron out some of the deficiencies. And, with the club announcing its financial future is secure, he might have a new striker to unleash on the Hornets.

The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.

Topics:
Football
Championship
Hull City
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