Slutsky & Meyler Reflect On Sunderland Point
Head coach Leonid Slutsky and David Meyler have both been reflecting on Hull City's fightback to take a point against Sunderland at the weekend.
Hosting Simon Grayson's side at the KCOM Stadium for the game, James Vaughan gave the visitors the lead within the opening 20 minutes, and despite having more possession and far greater chances, it took Meyler until the 82nd minute to earn and extremely justified point.
Speaking to the Official Site as he met with the media following the game, Slutsky explained that it had been a disappointing day but clearly we would play better.
'Meyler needed time to recover as he played for his national team. It is difficult for him to play more than one match in the week. He changed the game today and was the difference. We played two different halves. The first was terrible and the second half was much better. It was difficult and it's difficult for me to find the best formation and the best in form team.'
'It's a normal situation when you have a new team and you are always finding out who is the best to start. I have to be sorry for the first half but I think everybody who watched today would have been satisfied with our second half.'
Asked about how long he felt it would take him to get the team performing to their best, Slutsky pointed to the second international break of the season.
'I think we will have a stable starting eleven after the second international break. It is ideal to have a one-week break until our next match now which we have this next week and I think we can play better and better each match. We are working very hard to try and change this situation. Believe me, everybody is giving 100% for our success.'
As for the game and Sunderland's opening goal, he knew we should've done better.
'It was a difficult situation. First, we cleared the ball not too far and they controlled the ball for the second phase, then we didn't block a cross and we lost a challenge on the far post- it wasn't just an individual mistake but a lot together. We've conceded a lot of goals from crosses but it wasn't the same as goals conceded in previous matches.'
'I don't think there's a problem in the system and I think everybody must have a chance. Fraizer Campbell has just come back and now I must learn and find the optimal starting eleven. We will see how training goes and my first inclination is that it's just a process.'
He ended by saying.
'Believe me, we have a good squad. Sometimes we can play better in certain moments. Sometimes it's one half, sometimes it's an unbelievable level and sometimes it's broke. After each match I try and work hard to change the situation.'
As for Meyler, in his own post game interviews he was pleased to get on the scoresheet.
'I'm happy to get on the scoresheet but I would have happily traded it in for a couple of the other lads to score and win us the game. After the second half we probably deserved a win, but in the first half Sunderland put us under a lot of pressure and were the better team so over 90 minutes 1-1 was probably a fair result.'
'They sat back a little bit in the second half and allowed us to get at them more, but that is only natural when you have a lead. We improved as well, though, after a few words at half time and we knew that it was on us to go back out there and challenge them. We had to take the game to them and we did. Sunderland were hard to break down and in this league, you know that every game you play is going to be tough. The first 45 minutes didn't go our way and we didn't do enough as a group but that is something we can have a look at and work on. The second half was an improvement but if we want to win games, we have to perform for 90 minutes. Only doing it for 45 minutes isn't good enough.'
Reflecting on our start to the season, Meyler also knew it had been average but he felt we were slowly starting to click as a side with a growing understanding of the gaffer's ideas.
'If I`m going to be honest and call a spade a spade, it`s been an average start. There`s no point in pretending it`s going well, but it`s certainly not going poorly either. It could be better, that`s why I`d say average. The signs are there but they`re glimpses. Once we nail it down I think we can be a force to be reckoned with.'
He went on to say that with a nice blend in the team, there continues to be a strong spirit in the group.
'We`re all in this together. We`ve got young lads who are learning their trade and we`ve got other ones, more experienced. We`ve got to find the blend and the second half against Sunderland was the start of it. But, to do it for just 45 minutes simply isn`t good enough. We have to be in it together for the 90 minutes. We`ve got 38 games to go and there`s a lot of points to play for. Our target is still to be promoted.'
With the midfielder coming off the bench to good effect with a much improved second half showing, he went on to say.
'I was naturally disappointed not to be in the starting line-up because everyone wants to play but the manager made the decision. And I respect his decision because it`s his job. My job is to play football and when the opportunity comes you`ve got to go out and take it. I want to play every minute of every game. Sometimes it doesn`t work like that but the manager knows what I want. I`ll always give my all to the team and hopefully I`ve done enough to get picked in the next game at Reading.'