Hull City were dealt a blow to their strong run of form as they fell to a disappointing 3-1 defeat to bottom club Barnsley on Saturday.
The Tigers came into this fixture looking to build on their run of results that had seen them rise up the table in pursuit of the play-off places, however, their hopes of breaking in soon were dashed as Barnsley dominated at Oakwell.
Grant McCann’s side fell behind in the first half before Mike Bahre doubled the hosts lead, before Keane Lewis-Potter halved the deficit with nine minutes to go with a close-range header, but Connor Chaplin’s stoppage-time strike sealed a poor result for the visitors.
Here, we take a look at three things we learnt about Hull City in the weekend’s defeat…
They can feel hard-done-by
Despite the fact that Barnsley were the better side, there were points in the game where Hull could have easily equalised against the run of play and turned the game on its head.
At 1-0, Jarrod Bowen missed a one-on-one chance that he typically gobbles up, along with Jackson Irvine narrowly missing as he dragged his second-half shot wide of the far post, where he should have converted.
Having not taken to glorious chances, Hull were punished by some great attacking play from the Tykes and they will feel that if they equalised when they should have, the game would have had a vastly different outcome.
Consistency is key
Heading into the fixture, Hull’s form was great with four wins in six games plus a draw seeing them pick up 13 points out of a possible 18 in that time.
The run gave them a shot at making it into the top six in the coming weeks, but their dip in performance levels on Saturday set them back to a six-point gulf between them and sixth-placed Preston North End. This gap will grow to seven points if they avoid defeat tonight against West Brom.
The issue that has stopped Grant McCann’s side from breaking into that category has been their inconsistency throughout the season. Their form is all well and good but they will know more than anyone that they should pick up results against the lesser teams if they are to be considered serious play-off contenders.
They weren’t aggressive enough
Each goal that Hull conceded came from the defence and midfield not being aggressive enough to stop either the key pass being made or the shot itself from going in.
Can you name the nationality of these 20 Hull City players?
The Tigers allowed Barnsley far too much freedom to move into the final third and they were punished for it swiftly. There isn’t a team in the Championship that you can allow such time and space to and get away with it on multiple occasions.
Barnsley were full of vigour in their play which shouldn’t be taken away, but McCann will certainly know that his side could have done a lot more in defence to snuff out the Tykes’ influence.
Prior to this, their defence had looked strong as they kept clean sheets against the likes of Fulham and Preston recently. Saturday was an uncharacteristically poor showing from the defensive unit and they need to up their game as they prepare for the visit of Stoke City on the seventh.