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Hull City v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship

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Talking Points: We Beally needed that... Seelt = classy... oh, and play a bloody striker!

There was lots to take from Sunderland’s performance at Hull - Gav picks out some of the key talking points coming out of the game!

Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

We Beally needed that!

Phew. What a result... what a win!

Make no bones about it — we all needed that, but nobody needed it more than Michael Beale. Anything other than a victory would have had the pitchfork-wielders lining up to have a pop, and whilst it wasn’t us at our best, it was still a really good performance away from home against a good side.

My big criticisms after the last two games was the toothlessness up top and the crap defending. We haven’t quite sorted one of those things out based off this performance (more on that soon) but we were much better as a defensive unit. It felt like the midfield offered far better protection, and at the back we were calm and collected. Even Anthony Patterson made a couple of good saves.

That’s an excellent three points and it sets us up nicely ahead of Friday, giving Beale and his players the platform to build from after what was a tough afternoon on Saturday.

Hull City v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Play a striker!

I still don’t understand what the coaches are seeing that I’m not - what’s the logic behind not playing a recognised striker?

Once again we totally dominated the ball but lacked the extra bit of something at the top end that all teams need to be able to convert some of that dominance into goals.

Really, we were lucky that Clarke found his shooting boots. Up until that point I just felt really frustrated that we’d played so well yet hadn’t really made their keeper work.

I presume they just don’t rate the ones we’ve got, and that on Friday at Rotherham it’ll be more of the same but with Pritchard coming into the side. If it works, then fine, and it did work today as we got there in the end - but longer term, we need to be playing with a centre forward.

It’s painfully clear that with a number nine up there, we’d be a lot better off as a result — says he, the armchair coaching expert.

Hull City v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Classy Seelt

Andy gave Jenson Seelt his man of the match in the aftermatch player ratings, and it’s hard to disagree - I don’t think anyone else had a better ninety minutes than he did.

He was out of position at right back but it worked as it allowed him to focus on defending, and the Hull wide players really struggled to get past him.

Please, don’t laugh, but his performance today really reminded me of the type we got out of Jonny Evans in his first loan spell here - he was properly classy on the ball.

Long term I think we have to figure a way to get him into the team consistently, because that’s twice in the last few weeks where he’s been outstanding in a game against decent opposition. He’s ready.

Hull City v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Pierre back to his best

I don’t think anyone can deny that Pierre Ekwah has gone off the boil recently, and hasn’t looked anywhere near as good since he came back from injury. Yet, in a game against a really talented Hull attack and midfield, he controlled the game and kept us ticking over.

When Pierre applies himself and plays to that level it makes everyone around him look that little bit better. Dan Neil was more comfortable as a result, and the defence looked protected for once. I don’t think we can pin the blame for our poor recent defending on any one individual, but if the second goal at the weekend told us anything it’s that Ekwah needs to really own his role in the side as the enforcer in the centre of the park.

Jean Seri is a quality player but he never got near Ekwah.

More of the same on Friday, please!


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