Everton increased the pressure on Hull manager Phil Brown as they cruised into the Carling Cup fourth round with an emphatic win at the KC Stadium last night.
David Moyes’ side all but ensured victory with goals from Ayegbeni Yakubu, Jo and Dan Gosling inside the opening 24 minutes of a tie they eventually won 4-0.
Brown’s decision to make nine changes and field a number of fringe players indicated that the competition is not his top priority but Everton’s overwhelming superiority made for a demoralising evening.
Hull, already 19th in the Barclays Premier League after a poor start to the season, must now pick themselves up for a testing trip to Liverpool on Saturday.
Brown, who guided the Tigers to the top flight and then kept them there last season, is determined to turn the situation around.
He said: “We have got a big job to do. Everybody is expecting us to go out of this division because of the second-season syndrome.
“It is about rolling the sleeves up now and fighting even harder.
“Hopefully whatever team I pick on Saturday will respond in the right manner.
“Nobody likes being in the bottom three, but we have a job to do that is a long-term plan.
“That long-term plan is six games in. We have got a long way to go.”
Everton’s own disappointing start to the campaign now seems to be behind them after a superb last seven days.
Moyes’ men have scored 11 goals without reply in sweeping aside AEK Athens, Blackburn and now Hull since last Thursday.
Leon Osman wrapped up last night’s win with a fourth goal just before the hour.
Assistant manager Steve Round said: “It’s been a terrific week but we’re also pleased with the clean sheets.
“Centre forwards get all the plaudits but to get three clean sheets on the bounce is very important.
“The players want to emulate what they did last season and push on from that.
“Finishing fifth and getting to an FA Cup final is what they expect now.
“There is a real determination to try to win some silverware.
“That is the goal and ambition and you could see that in the performance and the team we put out.”
Yakubu, Jo and Gosling were among five changes made for the tie by Moyes with Tony Hibbert and Diniyar Bilyaletdinov also coming in.
The performance of Yakubu on his first start since snapping an Achilles last November was particularly pleasing, although he was withdrawn at half-time due to a slight thigh strain.
Round added: “I think the early goals made a difference, they knocked the stuffing out of Hull a bit.
“Once we got the goals we took control of the game and it was just a matter of seeing it through.”