Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini criticised the Hull fans who subjected Wayne Bridge to a series of personal chants on his return to the side today.
The England left-back played his first match after two months out with a knee injury in the 2-1 defeat against Hull at the KC Stadium.
Bridge has found himself in an unwanted media spotlight following the revelations about an alleged affair between former Chelsea team-mate John Terry and his ex-partner, which yesterday resulted in Terry being stripped of the England captaincy by coach Fabio Capello.
Terry was roundly booed during Chelsea’s 1-1 draw with Hull at the KC on Tuesday and Bridge was also singled out by the home fans this afternoon.
Mancini said: “I think sometimes we have to have respect for people. It was not good, in the first half, the people did not respect him.”
The City coach, who refused to comment on Terry’s demotion, added of Bridge’s performance: “It was important he played and I hope in the next week he can improve. Wayne is an important player for us.”
Hull came flying out of the blocks and dominated a first half in which the impressive Jozy Altidore opened the scoring in the 31st minute with his first Premier League goal.
City struggled to create anything of note, with Bridge managing their first shot on target in first-half injury time, and the hosts were celebrating a two-goal lead nine minutes into the second period.
And what a strike it was, veteran midfielder George Boateng letting fly from 25 yards with a volley that rocketed past Shay Given and gave the Dutchman his first goal of the season.
Emmanuel Adebayor pulled one back five minutes later but the expected City onslaught never really materialised and Hull were left to celebrate a victory that lifted them out of the relegation zone and up to 14th.
Mancini, who gave Patrick Vieira and Adam Johnson their debuts off the bench, admitted his side had been second best.
“We didn’t play very well,” he said. “We know Hull at home is a different proposition, they played well. We started the game very, very slowly and there were things I didn’t like because the pitch is the same whether we play at home or away.
“If we want to make the top four, we must win away and we must fight. We must be aggressive away, not like the first half.”
For Hull it was a first win since November and followed on from their impressive performance against the Barclays Premier League leaders in midweek.
Assistant manager Brian Horton, who was in charge of City from 1993 to 95, felt Hull’s fast start had set the tone for the victory.
“We got at them, like we did against Chelsea, set a high tempo from the start with the two up front causing problems,” he said. “The first half was as well as we’ve played for a long, long time.
“The Chelsea result has given them confidence and confidence is the magic word in football because all of a sudden we look a completely different side.
“We should have beaten Wolves and to come back and do what they did against two of the best sides in the country is a tremendous testament to the staff and the fans.”