Without a win since October, and after sacking their manager just five days prior and announcing his replacement just 48-hours before kick-off, Hull City fans were well within their rights to rid themselves of any optimism ahead of the Brentford fixture.
But as ever with a new gaffer, it felt like a fresh start, and although it was far from a perfect performance, a 3-2 win at home was far from the worst result, with a welcome three points lifting us to the dizzy heights of 18th position in the Championship table.
Nigel Adkins arguably has one of the toughest jobs in English football right now, but you wouldn’t think it the way he has spoken this week. Calling Hull City ‘Hull City’ and addressing the fans as the “lifeblood” of the club, his popularity took a boost after his first outing as boss, and rightly so, even if Ehab is spitting bullets as he makes his way home through the Midlands snow.
Maybe Adkins wasn’t the most inspiring choice but if he lets his results do the talking he won’t go far wrong. This was a satisfactory start. We won’t go over the top, as we’ve faced blind optimism already this season and come right back down to Earth after it. But it’s three points, and three much needed points at that.
Brentford, remarkably so, had lost just once in the last 13 games ahead of their clash against City. The West Londoners are a well drilled outfit and to their credit a decent side. Despite not throwing much at City they took the lead and it looked a case of same old same old, but luckily for us Nigel had a trick up his sleeve – Jon Toral.
The ex-Arsenal grafter came on for Max Clark and changed the game. Seven minutes later and Kamil Grosicki had equalised with a right thunderbolt into the back of the net. What a goal. Toral meanwhile played with energy, upped the tempo and definitely influenced our change in fortune. Who’d have thought it?
Another recent struggler in City’s side, Seb Larsson, then scored direct from a free kick to give us the lead, with Jackson Irvine getting his Tigers career off the mark with a third, and what a celebration that was. Crazy bastard.
Brentford’s late flourish saw them add a second goal, and almost a third, if not for a splendid stoppage time save from Alan McGregor. The Scottish sort saving our blushes, for what would have been more dropped points from a winning position.
As cliches go a win is a win and whilst there is a lot of room for improvement we’ll take that. City were becoming desperate and hopefully that win will kick start a more positive run of results for the squad and the new man at the helm, Nigel Adkins.