Slutsky & Dawson On Preston Loss
Head coach Leonid Slutsky and Michael Dawson have been reflecting on Hull City's defeat to Preston North End in the midweek clash.
Hosting the side at the KCOM Stadium for the game, Hull fell behind in the first period but did get back on level terms with Jarrod Bowen finding the net five minutes after the restart, but Preston nicked the winner with two minutes remaining in the game to take all three points.
Speaking to the Official Site as he met with the media following the game, a disappointed Slutsky explained.
'It's difficult to talk about a performance when you have conceded a goal in the last minute for a second game in a row. We wanted to win the game and we played on the attack for all of the second half. We got the equaliser and had some chances after that, but again we have conceded a late goal and of course it is now possible to lose some confidence because everybody is frustrated right now. It's difficult at the moment because we're in close matches and we have had chances in each match to win but we didn't take them.'
With a poor first half display, Slutsky felt we had shrunk into ourselves and he wants us to be braver moving forward.
'When you are not winning matches, you lose confidence and start thinking defensively. You're looking at clean sheets rather than attacking and automatically you start to play after conceding - like we did against Sunderland in our last home game. We tried to change the mentality, but really you can't change the mentality without a win. We are talking and not doing at the moment.'
Questioned on whether Hull have a winning mentality, he admitted it was difficult at the moment but the only way of changing that was to keep working hard.
'When you don't win for five matches in a row you lose confidence. We have a new team and results are very important for development. When you don't have results, and maybe don't have a bit of luck, it is difficult. In the second half, both teams had chances and all results were possible but we lost after making a very strange and simple mistake.'
He was pleased with the reaction in the second half though after he'd tweaked the system at the half time break.
'I am looking for our optimal formation and, of course, half time isn't a good time to do this but when the result isn't going well for you, you must try and change the situation. I think the changes were good and changed the scenario of the match but we didn't win.'
With fans making their voices heard at the full time whistle, Slutsky apologised and more than understood their disappointment.
'I can only say sorry to them again. I can understand that they must be disappointed because we are not bringing them results.'
He also feared the worst when it came to the injury to Stephen Kingsley.
'I think it is a serious one. It is a problem in the adductor area.'
As for Dawson, he was also frustrated following the full time whistle.
'Losing any game of football is hard to take, but last night`s was especially tough. We dominated the second half, just like we did against Sunderland last time out at home. We should have gone on to win that game and we should have gone on to beat Preston after getting ourselves back on level terms. In the first half, Preston had an awful lot of possession and I can understand the frustration from the fans. But we improved dramatically after the break and to lose the game in the manner we did after playing so well in the second half was certainly hard to take. The most frustrating thing is that we`ve come away with nothing after conceding late on.'
Despite the disappointment, Dawson remained confident that the team would bounce back when we face Birmingham City at the weekend and put an end to this run of form.
'We`re not a million miles away, but things just aren`t falling for us at the moment. Whenever we make a mistake we seem to be getting punished for it. Unfortunately, that`s football. We`ve got to stick together as a group and keep going. We`ve got a lot of new faces in and around the dressing room, and when you do first get together, you want to get off to a good start and unfortunately, we haven`t done that. But, there`s a long way to go in this league yet. We`re not where we want to be in the table, but that`s where we are. We have to accept that and show an awful lot of character to make sure we pick up results and climb up the table.'