Hull keep the red flag flying high

ONE of Hull’s most famous denizens is John Prescott, the one concession to the old school in Tony Blair’s New Labour, so it is only fitting the city’s increasingly impressive football club is also flying the red flag.

There were several stand-out performances as Hull, remarkably, moved joint top of the Premier League on Saturday night, not least from Boaz Myhill, Kamil Zayatte and Geovanni. Myhill made a number of superb saves, particularly in the first half as West Brom dominated, while defender Zayatte was also assured and then volleyed in the opener.

But Hull’s increasingly coveted manager Phil Brown prefers to eschew the cult of the individual in favour of collective praise.

“We were poor in the first half but raised our standards in the second and consequently got the result that we deserved,” Brown said.

“We rode our luck in the first half but came out of the traps in the second and scored from a set-piece, which we are getting better at.

“That mentality not to concede a goal is the best thing about our team at the moment.

“Boaz was top drawer, deserved his clean sheet — but it was nice to keep them to shots outside the penalty box in the second half.

“Without the quality of defending, Geovanni would be nothing, he is in a team. We went 3-0 up and he started doing flicks and backheels and giving possession away, and that’s the reason he came off.

“Kamil has played his part, but the team spirit is the main reason we are getting results.

“Kamil will be the first to say Michael Turner is the reason why he is playing well, Michael Turner will be the first to say Kamil Zayatte is the reason why he is playing well.”

Confidence could not be higher as Hull now prepare for back-to-back games against Chelsea and Manchester United over the next six days.

Many would expect this to be the week when the promoted side’s bubble finally bursts and Brown has been understated in his ambitions for Chelsea’s visit on Wednesday.

Chelsea were last at the KC Stadium for a Carling Cup tie just over a year ago and, with a much-changed team, ran out convincing winners over the then Championship side.

Brown added: “We are not thinking about Manchester United — it is about Chelsea and Chelsea alone.

“They came to the KC last year and beat us 4-0. We gave a good account of ourselves for about 35 minutes in that game then the floodgates opened.

“But we are a vastly different team from last year. We have more Premier League quality and hopefully we can give them a good game.”

West Brom manager Tony Mowbray was left to wonder how the game got away from his side after starting so strongly. The final scoreline was a second successive hefty blow for the Baggies after holding Manchester United for 56 minutes last week, only to lose 4-0.

Mowbray said: “There were a lot of positives. There was a lot of open play, a lot of attractive, passing play that created chances. But that is the brutality of the game.”

WEST BROM (4-4-2): Carson 7, Zuiverloon 7, Donk 6, Olsson 6, Robinson 6, Morrison 6 (Moore 80, 5), Greening 6, Koren 6 (Brunt 80, 5), Valero 6, Miller 5 (MacDonald 80, 5), Bednar 6.

Subs Not Used: Kiely, Hoefkens, Cech, Barnett.

HULL (4-4-2): Myhill 8, McShane 6, Zayatte 8, Turner 8, Dawson 5 (Ricketts 10, 7), Marney 7, Ashbee 7 (Hughes 75, 6), Boateng 6, Cousin 6, King 7, Geovanni 7 (Garcia 78, 6).

Subs Not Used: Duke, Mendy, Halmosi, Folan.

REFEREE: Lee Probert (Wiltshire) 6: Might have awarded West Brom a penalty following Sam Ricketts’ hand-ball but was generally sound.

MATCH RATING: *** Hull have played better than this, but the fact they can win so handsomely in third gear is remarkable.


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