A Great Reaction - Slutsky
Head coach Leonid Slutsky was delighted with Hull City's reaction in the game against Birmingham City at the weekend.
With a number of disappointing results and having called for a reaction from the side as we hosted Birmingham at the KCOM Stadium this Saturday, the players certainly provided that with a heavy six one victory.
With goals coming from Fraizer Campbell, David Meyler, Jarrod Bowen, Kamil Grosicki, Markus Henriksen and finally Seb Larsson, a delighted Slutsky told the Official Site as he met with the media that the day couldn't really have gone any better for us.
Asked whether a formation switch to 4231 should take the credit, Slutsky explained that he felt we had been close to this kind of performance for a while, but simply it clicked finally.
'I think we have been close to this quality of match in many matches. Sometimes we have played well for 30 minutes, sometimes for one half but all week we have spoken about how we must stabilise the quality of our game - not 30 minutes, not one half but all 90 minutes. Unfortunately, we didn't do added time when they scored and that is my mistake! We played at a high level and the result came with that.'
He went on to add.
'Today our plan worked. It is difficult to speak about individuals and systems. After watching Birmingham play Sheffield Wednesday in midweek we understood how we must play. We had some different combinations today and it worked well. It was a really good performance and I think the supporters will be happy. We thank them for their support.'
Questioned about the performance more specifically, he was delighted with most of those aspects but now it's about repeating it on a more regular and consistent basis.
'We pressed very well, very high up the field. The first goal came as a result of that, we understood that from our preparation. We used the spaces between their lines, there were big spaces and we used them well. Jon Toral was very important in those situations and was very productive for us. Our defence was also good because we knew we had to stop Jacques Maghoma and Jeremie Boga from dribbling as that is what they like to do and they are good at it.'
With Henriksen more playing in his 'natural' position.
'In pre-season he only really played as a number ten, but when we lost Kevin Stewart and David Meyler earlier in the season he was the only one who could play in that number six role. He got injured and has come back with some new players in the team. We have serious competition in that area of the team but Henriksen, Toral and Irvine can all play as a number six, a number eight and a number ten. They are versatile and we will use them as best we can.'
Larsson also came in for praise as he faced his former employees with Slutsky believing it was his best performance so far since he came to the club.
'I think so, yes. Opinions are very important, but when it comes to players my opinion is the most important and I understood his level when I signed him. He is a very good player.'
Obviously the hope is this game can now kick start our season properly.
'We've had a difficult time but in each match we have had a chance to win. It has felt like luck hasn't liked us - I don't know why! If we can keep the level of performance we have shown in this match, I think we will have more wins.'