I think any City fan would have happily taken a point prior to Eldin Jakupovic’s penalty heroics as he saved Tadic’s effort. It’s a huge moment in Hull’s rollercoaster season and given Swansea’s result against Man United, makes it all the more important to keep picking up points. What did we learn from the Tigers’ result?
A point definitely gained:
Marco Silva’s men dominated the early exchanges against a lacklustre Southampton side. The away side had their opportunities and can count themselves unlucky not to have taken a first-half lead. As it was the Tigers conceded a late penalty and Jakupovic made a fantastic save. At this point in the season an undeserving defeat would have been a huge dent in confidence and momentum.
The Tigers are defensively sound:
If there’s one thing that’s been quite evident in the last few games it’s the defensive solidarity that the team have displayed. I’m not just talking about Harry McGuire and Andrea Ranocchia but also the understanding with Jakupovic too. Two clean sheets in consecutive games is a far cry to the beginning of the season and it stands them in good stead. Barring the odd moment of panic, defensively the team look quite relaxed going into a crucial run of games.
Jakupovic’s deserves all the plaudits:
A special mention for a player who at times has had to earn his plaudits the hard way. Playing second fiddle to David Marshall at the beginning of the season, Eldin has proved all his doubters wrong and in turn attracted suitors with a display of athletic saves and consistent performances. It’s not just his technical ability but his sheer passion that’s infectious. It reverberates around the fans and players and he fully deserves all the praise he has received.
The goals need to come more regularly:
On a less positive note what is a little disconcerting is the Tigers lack of composure in front of goal. Oumar Niasse in particular needs to rediscover his goal scoring touch quickly or precious points could be dropped. The old adage goes if you don’t take your chances then the opposition more than likely will and Hull were nearly a victim of this against Southampton. Nonetheless City are creating chances and this display of endeavour is encouraging as it means even the goals are currently lacking, they are giving themselves every opportunity to break the deadlock.
The relegation fight is in Hull’s hands:
There’s no doubting that Swansea’s point against Man Utd on Sunday was a big one but they continue to chase a two point deficit. It means they can ill afford to slip up and while Hull can’t either, Silva’s side seem to embody a degree of quiet assurance that may make the difference. Fans should be confident. Afterall, Saturday’s game is at home against the Premier League’s basement boys Sunderland. Added to that is Hull’s imperious home record at home under Silva. Perhaps it’s a little complacent to suggest but the Crystal Palace game is a fixture that should be approached more cautiously.
Elmo looks more assured in defence:
You would assume in an ideal world that Marco Silva would utilise other options at right-back. However injuries to Elabdellaoui and Meyler have forced the Portuguese man’s hand. Since Elmohamady was dropped against Stoke a few weeks ago, his return to the starting eleven has coincided with more assured performances. It’s a testament to City’s Manager that he’s bringing improved performances out of a player who with no disrespect, is certainly not a fullback. If he can continue to improve then it’s one problematic area on the pitch that could be temporarily resolved.