Hull City debutant George Boyd was bright light on dark day at Bolton
IN THE thankless pursuit of positives from Hull City's disastrous afternoon at the Reebok Stadium, the eye was drawn primarily to the relentless backing of 1,500 travelling fans.
Their unwavering support made light of the defensive car crash they had watched unfold, but for the shell-shocked there was at least one cause for optimism.
Saturday's trip to Bolton brought the debut of George Boyd.
Signed on an emergency loan from Peterborough 48 hours earlier, the playmaker was handed a 30-minute role to begin life as a Tiger off the substitutes' bench.
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Although the outcome could not be rescued, boss Steve Bruce called Boyd "a breath of fresh air" to liven up an otherwise flat City attack.
Gedo, a scorer in three consecutive games, and Robert Koren were anonymous figures for an hour, and the introduction of Boyd and Jay Simpson belatedly gave Bolton something to think about.
Boyd, in particular, demanded attention. A technically astute figure, he craved possession in dangerous areas to probe and examine the home side's defence.
None of his stylish contributions led to a lifeline, but City suddenly have a forward in their ranks with few thoughts in his mind other than to make things happen.
Boyd arrives with a proven pedigree in the Championship. Even in a struggling Peterborough side he has scored 15 goals in his last two seasons when used in a withdrawn attacking role similar to that often held at the KC by Koren.
The 27-year-old's talents were undeniable six days ago when he bid farewell to Peterborough in style. Three assists and a goal made him the star of the show as Posh beat Millwall 5-1 at the Den on the same night City dismantled Blackburn.
It was the Tigers' brilliance against Michael Appleton's side that convinced Bruce to stick with a winning formula heading to Bolton and the sole reason Boyd had to make do with a place on the bench.
Now comes the conundrum that will be debated all week.
If Boyd is to earn a first start when Birmingham arrive this Saturday, who is to make way?
Bruce ducked the question after the defeat to Bolton, preferring to extol the value of Boyd's versatility across the attacking line.
However, it seems as though either Koren or Corry Evans will be most fearful of their places.
Koren is the natural like-for-like option and Bruce showed no mercy when axing his erratic skipper for the visit of Charlton last weekend.
Evans is another to have fallen in and out of favour and his role could be filled by David Meyler in a re-jigged midfield accommodating both Koren and Boyd.
No matter, City have a fresh face capable of providing impetus for the final dozen fixtures.