Peter Swan: Hull City will play worse than against Nottingham Forest - and win
SOMETIMES you leave a football pitch without getting the rewards your efforts deserve and that’s exactly what happened to Hull City against Nottingham Forest.
Although the Tigers created chance after chance, Forest still managed to come away from the KC Stadium with a 2-1 win when City were deserving of at least a draw.
On another day, City will play far worse and win, but that’s the nature of the Championship as a division. There are no certainties.
As an experienced manager who has been in this position before, Steve Bruce will know exactly how to handle the latest setback. He’ll know there’s no need for widespread changes, it was just one of those days.
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The main focus for City now is to bounce back from the defeat, something they’ve done well whenever they’ve suffered one this season.
Defeats by Bolton and Crystal Palace were both followed up by positive results and that’s what City must do next time out at Huddersfield.
The main thing which everyone learnt from the weekend is that Nottingham Forest are a side which is full of confidence and one to avoid if you get in the play-offs.
It may have been a season of managerial turmoil for Forest, but the arrival of Billy Davies has galvanised the squad and they are on the crest of a wave.
Six consecutive wins has seen them come from nowhere and into the play-off zone like a runaway train. They may not be as good as some of the teams around them, man for man, but they are thriving on the confidence of success.
It’s amazing what you can do when the shackles and pressures are off, as City have shown under Bruce, and now Forest are experiencing the same thing under Davies.
He has given them the belief and confidence to play freely and without fear, which is a credit to him and his experience.
As a play-off veteran with Derby and Preston, his side will be ones to look out for if they do stay in the top six.
But, on the evidence of the season so far, City should not be worrying about that because they are easily good enough to get automatic promotion.
They may have lost 2-1, but the sheer number of chances they created was unbelievable. Robbie Brady and Ahmed Elmohamady never stopped firing crosses into the penalty area.
Brady in particular was in outstanding form on the left wing and he is continuing to get better and better as the weeks go by.
With balls of his quality coming into the penalty area, it’s only a matter of time before City get on the end of them.
On Saturday, Brady himself was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet because his free-kicks were edging nearer and nearer all the time. His first went just over the bar, then he whizzed one just past the post and then he hit the bar. If he’d had another it would probably have gone in, but the chance never came.
With the results of their rivals going in their favour, City may look back on the game as a missed opportunity, but I don’t think they could have done much more.
It’s a shame because City don’t seem to be able to capitalise when other teams do slip up, but that’s the nature of the division they are in.
Hopefully, they will be able to rest one or two players during this international break and get the rub of the green when they travel to face Huddersfield in a couple of weeks time.
• Gallery: Hull City v Nottingham Forest in pictures