Quick Kicks: Thoughts And Reaction To Hull City 1-0 Sunderland

Tim Keeton

Some positives, some negatives and generally a bit more thought on what we all witnessed on Saturday, plus a few words from Gus...

What The Gaffer Said

It's very difficult to analyse [the second] 45 minutes but I would say that tactically it's the best 45 minutes we've played this season by far.

I had to make tough decisions at half time and I needed the players to understand what I needed from them. They reacted superbly, it was an unenviable task.

They needed to do something different and respond and they were outstanding.

When you play like that you're always going to create a chance or two - and what a chance we created.

On another day maybe we would have left the stadium with a point.

The things that we did with only nine men on the pitch were incredible - there was an unbelievable level on concentration from the players, as well as belief.

We had the right mentality - sure, you need to run around, but you need to believe. If you are weak mentally that's when you concede.

Three weeks ago we were weak and we collapsed. Maybe you can't compare the two games, but today I am a proud man.

Certainly Gus is very right to point out that in the second half we were great, but the glossing over of the sendings off and the fact they happened should have dented some pride. For all we were great in the second half, it was awful in the first.

Self Destruction Come Early

I'm going to ignore the Carlos Cuellar own goal in this section. The destruction came towards the end of the first half with the two sendings off.

Usually we wait until about halfway through the second half to completely explode, so it was a change of pace to see it happen so early this time with Lee Cattermole and Andrea Dossena being sent to the dressing room for horrible lunges.

Dossena's cannot be argued. It was ugly, late and stupid -- not to mention completely unnecessary -- and he had to go.

Cattermole's however I've seen it argued that his reputation preceded him in the game and whilst I can understand the viewpoint, in this instance I don't really think that was the case. I'm a defended him on numerous occasions. I've even written several thousand words defending him on this site, however on Saturday that was a red card.

Cattermole came absolutely flying in on Elmohamady. It was rash, unnecessary and having already had a telling off from the referee a few minutes earlier, he should have known better. Whilst he didn't injure the Egyptian, he could of quite easily. He was out of control with his lunge, and there was anger and over-aggression in it for me.

Should Have Been Three

Whilst we're on the subject though, they aren't the only two who should have walked. Hull's Robbie Brady was very lucky to stay on the pitch late in the game for a lunge certainly on par with that of Cattermole's.

Brady came flying in off the ground with his studs up at Adam Johnson by the halfway line. With the referee having already set the tone for what should and shouldn't be a red card in the game, this was quite clearly one too.

I'm not sure it would have made much of a difference to the scoreline, but certainly it has to be the same rule for everyone.

Our Flexible Friend

We'd been told that Poyet was the kind of guy who wouldn't vere too much from his gameplan, no matter what was happening in the game.

With the situation the way it was at half time, there was no way he could allow things to continue as they did, and made not only physical changes but tactical ones too, which worked superbly to keep the score at 1-0, and also had us create chances to make things level.

Cometh The Hour, Cometh The Mannone

It was really gutting to see Keiren Westwood try to continue having been ploughed into by Paul McShane. He should have been off immediately as he looked as though he could barely stand up. At one point it looked as though the referee even told him he couldn't continue. So when Hull had they're first sight at goal for a while it was no surprise he took a knee and asked to be replaced.

There was certainly in my mind some trepidation about bringing in Vito Mannone. He did quite well in the preseason, but since then rather poor in the cups and any other limited action.

However he surprised, and did very well making superb stops from Jake Livermore and Tom Huddlestone in the second half.

Certainly enough to build up a level of confidence and trust in him is Westwood is out for any significant length of time, although it's likely Jordan Pickford will have to be recalled from loan to sit on the bench.

Rear Of The Year

Was the defensive action in the second half our best of the season? I'd say it possible was. John O'Shea marshaled them beautifully alongside Wes Brown, and even managed to stop Carlos Cuellar being a complete clownshoe for 45-minutes.

No nonsense and back to basics. It was superb and should be incredibly highly praised, and all those still on the pitch at the end of the game could and should feel immensely proud of their efforts.

Even more delightful that Wes Brown managed not to injure himself either. Bonus!

The Walking Dead

Steven Fletcher could well have a new nickname. Obviously circumstances dictated that we couldn't bring him off, but by God we really should have. A shoulder injury, a back injury and a stomach injury all in one game... all this whilst already playing not fully recovered from his previous shoulder injury.

He was a credit to himself and the team for the way he battled through the suffering, but it would be good if we could just take things a little easier with him.

The Roker Roar

Cliched as it is to tell fans they're awesome, but in this instance it needs doing because those who travelled to Hull, and never stopped cheering or believing deserve perhaps the most credit from the game.

They were a twelfth man. And then an eleventh man when Cattermole was shown a red. A tenth man when Dossena saw red... and throughout the second half they were all the above and I'm a firm believer that they as much as anyone on the pitch, helped to keep us in the game.

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