Hull City take on Birmingham City at the KCOM tomorrow afternoon looking to arrest their alarming slump in form. Without a win in 5 City were poor in defeat against Preston on Tuesday night and the mood around the stadium is gloomy. They have to get back to winning ways soon as fans are getting fed up and starting to vote with their feet.
In their last two games City have thrown away 4 points late on and that is something that needs addressing. Leonid Slutsky will be desperate to see his team produce a 90 minute performance in front of the home crowd before the International break. With back to back away games on the horizon a win at home will be just what City need ahead of a tricky period.
One positive for City is the form of Jarrod Bowen who continues to play above himself this season and is finding the net with pleasing regularity. Unfortunately his teammates haven’t been following suit and they need to step up soon and help the young lad out. Bowen has signed a new contract to keep him at the club until 2020 which is excellent news as long as the club keep hold of him in the transfer window!
Slutsky’s task has been made harder by the fact that Birmingham picked up their first win in 9 games on Tuesday night against Sheffield Wednesday which will have given them a massive boost. Their players will be out to impress their new boss Steve Cotterill who will be watching from the stands as caretaker boss Lee Carsley takes control of his final game in temporary charge of the Blues.
Leonid Slutsky has emphasised the importance of holding onto a result late on as they have failed to do in several games recently, “It is a true situation and maybe the reason why we haven’t started games better is because when you concede a late goal, you start the next game a little bit frustrated. You end up thinking more about defence than you do about attack and it is a mentality problem, and when you haven’t won for a long time you lose confidence. When that happens, you sometimes don’t start to play until you have conceded a goal. We have had this situation against Sunderland, against Burton, against Preston and really we have to change this mentality”
Ahead of Carsley’s final game in temporary charge of the Blues the caretaker manager has given his thoughts ahead of the game and he expects City to come out all guns blazing at the KCOM, “I am expecting them to be really attacking, they commit a lot of bodies forward, and they play on the front foot. It’s important we think about our defensive shape, that we use the ball a little bit better. Their strike force, sometimes there are two up front which press quite aggressively, so I think it’s important we keep the ball off them and get them running around”
“I think we can do that if we show a little bit more patience with the two centre backs and the goalkeeper we can keep the ball and we can get our defensive midfielder on the ball and start our play that way.”
Leonid Slutsky will be without Stephen Kingsley tomorrow as he suffered an abductor injury during Tuesday’s game with Preston. Max Clark is likely to replace him at left back.
The visitors are without several key players including record signing Jota and forward Che Adams. That makes Isaac Vassell who scored the winner v Sheffield Wednesday likely to start up top for the Blues. Midfielder Jason Lowe (hamstring), goalkeeper David Stockdale (arm) and right-back Carl Jenkinson (shoulder) are also unavailable to caretaker boss Lee Carsley.