BORO UN­DONE BY LACK OF IMAG­I­NA­TION

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP -

AITOR Karanka is right to be wor­ried.

Last year, his welldrilled, ul­tra-or­gan­ised side were un­done by a lack of flair and in­ven­tion.

Based on this per­for­mance, noth­ing has re­ally changed.

Yes, Hull are a for­mi­da­ble side. Fast, strong, tech­ni­cally ex­cel­lent. With the likes of Robert Sn­od­grass still to re­turn, it’s hard to see how any­thing – even in­juries – can pre­vent a re­turn to the Pre­mier League.

They sim­ply do not have a weak link.

Mid­dles­brough do, and it’s glar­ing – they sim­ply do not pass or break quickly enough to frighten sides of Hull’s qual­ity.

Stew­art Down­ing will cre­ate chances but only if you give him the ball.

David Nu­gent will score goals but only if he gets the ser­vice. Both were iso­lated by a back four and mid­field who sat way too deep and played too many con­ser­va­tive passes. Un­less Karanka can find a way to make Mid­dles­brough more ex­pan­sive, the top two may fall ag­o­nis­ingly out of reach again.

STAR MAN SAM CLU­CAS

Hull

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