ABEL AND CO HIT ADDICKS FOR SIX
HULL manager Steve Bruce believes his promotion challengers are coming good at the right time of the season.
Bruce has been charged with a rapid return to the Premier League and the way his side demolished Charlton shows all the signs they are more than capable of achieving that aim.
Abel Hernandez scored a first half hat-trick and there were also goals from Robert Snodgrass, Mo Diame and Isaac Hayden.
Hull closed the gap on Championship leaders Middlesbrough, who were beaten at Bristol City, to two points, as third-placed Derby also lost at home to Birmingham.
Charlton remain second from bottom after a second humiliating defeat in four days which has not only cost their previous manager his job but also seen their survival hopes and poor goal difference suffer serious damage.
Jose Riga, who first managed Charlton between March and May of 2014, came back to replace interim manager Karel Fraeye who was sacked by owner Roland Duchatelet after the 5-0 defeat at Huddersfield on Tuesday.
Bruce said:“Every team has a bit of a dip. It’s very unlikely that any team goes and storms the league.
“We’ve played very well of late so let’s hope that continues. Our home form has been rock solid.”
The Hull manager believes his squad is in good shape as the Tigers bid to keep their promotion push on course.
“I’ve got a squad which is very good and playing for each other.We’ve got a long way to go but at the moment we’re playing very well.
Bruce had words of comfort for returning Charlton manager Riga, saying:“I wish Jose the best of luck. He did really well before. He’s got a proven track record but it’s never easy.”
Hull took the lead after nine minutes through Hernandez, who made the most of a mistake in the Charlton defence before his shot went in off the post.
They were 2-0 up seven minutes later when the same player finished well from the edge of the area.
Robert Snodgrass scored Hull’s third with another composed finish, curling into the top corner after good work by Sam Clucas and Hernandez.
And Hernandez secured his hat-trick from close range before half time, making it 14 league goals this season.
Mo Diame and Isaac Hayden completed the rout with goals after the interval, both again finishing with composure from outside the area – although Hayden’s shot came via a deflection.
By contrast Charlton did not work Allan McGregor in the Hull goal and Riga admits he does not want to experience the emotions of being relegated.
“I’ve never been relegated in my life and I don’t want to know what this feeling is like to be relegated,” said the Charlton manager.
“The first thing is to push everybody, individually and collectively.They have to work on all aspects of the game.
“We need time to find the real problems and to work on it.We have to be better tactically, better technically and better in our will.
“We need some help.We are in the transfer window.We need freshness to be able to face this big challenge but there are still 19 games.”
Riga said getting off to such a bad start against Hull had hit his side’s confidence and they never really recovered.
“Bad emotions are generated by this kind of result. The fact that this game was played against one of the best teams (in the division) made it hard for us,” he added.
“There was no confidence. It’s a big problem when you have to face Hull City.”
WILLING AND ABEL: Abel Hernandez celebrates scoring his second goal and, inset, completes his hat-trick
STAR MAN ABEL HERNANDEZ