What is it they say about old habits dying hard?

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So once again the Tigers were beaten away from home comprehensively, this time at Burnley, four goals conceded and none scored, it’s an all too familiar story.

Yet three days earlier City had finally got that elusive away win at Norwich, their first on their travels since Fulham in 2009.  

That win came very much against the run of play and was thanks in part to a slice of luck that led to Robert Koren's opener at Carrow Road. There was no such luck at Turf Moor though as a City side shorn of the services of Jimmy Bullard went down meekly to an energetic Burnley.

Manager Nigel Pearson laid into his players for a lack of effort and failure to close down the likes of Chris Eagles who helped himself to two goals. It didn't help either that City pressed the self-destruct button by conceding a weak penalty for hand ball and a goalkeeping blunder which provided Burnley with their fourth.  

Whilst there may have been some effort lacking in certain areas of the team, Pearson must look again at the tactics employed, using the diamond formation which has worked well since the return of Jimmy Bullard, but was torn to shreds by the Clarets. 

With no natural width to the team, Burnley exploited the space down either flank and gave City's full backs a torrid time. An unwillingness to change the shape meant City were effectively out of the game by half time and with little or no goal threat it was a miserable night for the travelling fans.

The lack of goals from the City strikers is getting more worrying all the time. Neither Simpson nor Fagan, the seemingly preferred front two, have hit the target this season. Therefore the return to fitness of Caleb Folan cannot come soon enough. 

Back in light training, the former Wigan forward is targeting the away game at Leicester for a come back in City colours. Folan possesses genuine pace and strength and could be a good foil for Simpson, as he was with Frazier Campbell three seasons ago when City won promotion to the Premier League. 

I can recall that season an away game at West Brom when City won 2-1 at the promotion favourites and Folan was outstanding. With injuries limiting his appearances in the last two seasons now is the time for Folan to step forward and really show Tigers fans he still has the desire to be a success.

Next up is Coventry at home before the two week international break, to lose again with two weeks to wait before the next match is unthinkable so it’s imperative that Bullard overcomes his back injury in time to play.

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

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Jimmy Bullard
Hull City

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