The defender had not featured for the Tigers’ first team since their loss to Fulham in October before he was called on by Dowie to partner Steven Mouyokolo in Saturday’s win over the Cottagers.
Sonko, who is on a season-long loan from Stoke, got his chance because of injuries to Andy Dawson, Anthony Gardner and Kamil Zayatte and Bernard Mendy’s illness, and he took it with both hands as Hull kept only their fifth clean sheet of the season.
Sonko said: “Sometimes I felt like I wasn’t part of the team any more. You expect to be treated one way and suddenly you find you’re with younger people. It wasn’t humiliating – we’ve got some good pros there – but it was difficult.
“ I came here to play for the first team and it wasn’t happening so you get frustrated but I got the reward for keeping my head down and keeping working,” the 29-year-old said.