Sh­effield Wed­nes­day and Hull drew 1-1 in yes­ter­day’s early kick-off

Striker start­ing to show why he cost Hull £10m

The Football League Paper - - NEWS - By James McMath

WHEN Hull City splashed £10m on Abel Her­nan­dez just 13 months ago, the idea was that his goals would keep the Tigers in the Pre­mier League.

That plan, how­ever, did not quite pan out and the Uruguayan striker scored just four goals as the Tigers tum­bled from the top flight.

The 25-year-old’s job now is to score the goals that will get Steve Bruce’s side back in the big time.

Her­nan­dez has hit the ground run­ning in the Cham­pi­onship and he scored his sixth goal in nine matches to earn Hull a point af­ter it looked like their four-match un­beaten run would come to an end.

Her­nan­dez scored for his coun­try against Colom­bia and played in Bo­livia dur­ing the in­ter­na­tional break be­fore mak­ing the 7,000-mile jour­ney back toYork­shire.

“Fair play to him, he’s been half­way around the world,” Bruce said.“Uruguay have Luis Suarez and Edin­son Ca­vani, so he’s in good com­pany. He scored for his coun­try and on Fri­day he was bright as a but­ton.

“He looks worth the money that we paid for him which, for me, is great news.

“Ev­ery­one needs a goalscorer and, at the mo­ment, he’s do­ing well. Long may it con­tinue.”

Scor­ing goals was Wed­nes­day’s big­gest prob­lem last sea­son and they net­ted only 16 at Hills­bor­ough in the league through­out the whole of the last cam­paign un­der Stu­art Gray.

Things look like be­ing dif­fer­ent, though un­der Car­los Car­val­hal and the Owls had scored ten goals in five out­ings at Hills­bor­ough be­fore this clash.

It took them 28 min­utes to make it 11 in six but they had some hap­haz­ard de­fend­ing from Hull to thank.

Af­ter a strong start, Bruce’s side grad­u­ally con­ceded the ini­tia­tive and then fell be­hind as they failed to prop­erly de­fend a cor­ner. Ross Wal­lace’s de­liv­ery was only half cleared and Barry Bannan’s ball back in was headed down by Tom Lees to find Forestieri. Poor po­si­tion­ing from Ahmed El­mo­hamady and Cur­tis Davies meant the Ital­ian was on­side ten yards out and free to turn and fire the ball be­yond Al­lan McGre­gor for his sec­ond goal since join­ing

Wat­ford. Hav­ing watched his team sur­ren­der the ini­tia­tive, Bruce took ac­tion five min­utes into the sec­ond half, re­plac­ing the sub­dued Mo Di­ame with Chuba Akpom, and within a minute, Hull were level.

Shaun Maloney and Jake Liver­more had shots well saved by West­wood in quick suc­ces­sion but the Wed­nes­day goal­keeper could do noth­ing to pre­vent Her­nan­dez from sweep­ing the ball home from 12 yards af­ter Liver­more picked out the striker in space.

Her­nan­dez had looked leggy in the first half, per­haps un­der­stand­ably given his in­ter­na­tional com­mit­ments, but he was a menace af­ter the break.

On the one oc­ca­sion El­mo­hamady got for­ward to de­liver a telling cross, Her­nan­dez pro­duced a header of qual­ity that, for­tu­nately for the hosts,West­wood was equal to.

At the other end, McGre­gor was rarely tested in the sec­ond half.

How­ever, he was called into ac­tion in the 77th minute to pre­vent An­drew Robert­son scor­ing an own goal.

Akpom’s in­tro­duc­tion had given the Tigers a spark and he cer­tainly left an im­pact on referee Keith Stroud af­ter crash­ing into the of­fifrom cial, who limped off in stop­page time.

Car­val­hal said he was pleased his team had proved a match for a Hull side widely tipped to make an in­stant re­turn to the Pre­mier League.

“I said it would be a chal­lenge for us to com­pare what we could do,” he said. “I’m very happy with our team and play­ers, we played against one of the strong­est teams.

“We scored one goal and could have had more in the first half.

“If we’d got the sec­ond, the story of the game would have been dif­fer­ent.”

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Images

KEEN AND ABEL: Hull City’s Abel Her­nan­dez cel­e­brates scor­ing their first goal

LEV­ELLER: Hull City’s Abel Her­nan­dez scores their equaliser

STAR MAN ABEL HER­NAN­DEZ

Hull

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