City slick­ers lift­ing the gloom

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Harry Wilmin

HULL CITY boss Steve Bruce is re­fus­ing to even en­ter­tain thoughts of an im­me­di­ate pro­mo­tion back to the Pre­mier League de­spite his side sit­ting sec­ond af­ter see­ing off MK Dons.

Ahmed El­mo­hamady and Mo­hamed Di­ame both scored their sec­ond goals of the sea­son as City beat strug­gling MK Dons to move to within two points of topof-the-ta­ble Brighton.

But Bruce, who guided the Tigers to pro­mo­tion from the Cham­pi­onship in his first sea­son as boss in 2013, in­sisted his play­ers must keep their feet on the ground de­spite their en­cour­ag­ing po­si­tion in the ta­ble.

“It was a good per­for­mance away from home,” he said.“We can play bet­ter but to put in a 2-0 win away from home is very pleas­ing.

“There’s a long way to go be­cause we’re only 14 games into the sea­son, but we have had a good start to the sea­son.

“It means noth­ing be­ing top of the league in Oc­to­ber, though, and there’s a long way to go be­fore the daf­fodils come back up again so let’s wait and see where we are then.

“The club is now start­ing to lift the doom and gloom and that wasn’t easy.”

Both sides started con­ser­va­tively dur­ing the open­ing ex­changes as the two teams strug­gled to claim con­trol of pos­ses­sion in mid­field.

But it was the vis­i­tors who went ahead in­side 19 min­utes with their first mean­ing­ful at­tack of the game, de­spite ap­peals from the Dons for an off­side in the build-up to El­mo­hamady even­tu­ally pok­ing home in­side the six-yard box.

It was Abel Her­nan­dez who clev­erly cre­ated space for him­self on the edge of the Dons’ penalty area, be­fore drilling a low cross into the path of El­mo­hamady who coolly tapped home into an empty net.

The Tigers al­most pinched them­selves a sec­ond just be­fore the break as El­mo­hamady again beat the off­side trap, rounded MK Dons goal­keeper David Martin be­fore fir­ing well over an empty net.

Karl Robin­son’s side had lacked any real cre­ativ­ity in the fi­nal third through­out the match, but did start to come to life with the in­tro­duc­tion of Nicky Maynard and Daniel Pow­ell mid-way through the sec­ond half.

The sub­sti­tu­tions pro­vided MK Dons with some much-needed pace and power in their at­tacks for the first time and it did, at times, have the Tigers’ defence on the back foot.

But Di­ame made sure of the points at the death with a well­taken curl­ing strike into Martin’s far cor­ner as MK Dons pushed for a lev­eller.

“We did not de­serve to lose here,” said MK Dons man­ager Karl Robin­son. “One man has cost us – and you know who that is, but I can’t say his name.

“The fans thought that was one of the worst of­fi­ci­at­ing dis­plays they’ve seen here – but I can’t say that my­self be­cause I’ll get in trou­ble.

“When I got told that Jake Liver­more wasn’t in­ter­fer­ing with play for their first goal I couldn’t be­lieve it.

“He’s made a move­ment to the ball and the referee has got that wrong.

“But I can only go on facts and the facts are that we played well, and we de­served more than what we got.

“All of my play­ers de­serve a men­tion here and I’m proud of them all.

“We don’t have the money to spend but the fans un­der­stand where we are as a club.”

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Images

THAT’S A WRAP: Mo­hamed Di­ame scores the sec­ond goal for Hull City to seal the three points

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