Dowie: The numbers don't add up
Hull boss Iain Dowie bemoaned "the statistic that matters" after Wednesday's 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Aston Villa in the Premier League. Goals from Gabriel Agbonlahor and James Milner, the latter with a penalty, gave Villa a win which keeps alive their outside hopes of a top-four finish while dealing a damaging blow to the Tigers' hopes of survival ahead of their home clash with Sunderland on Saturday. Dowie told Sky Sports News afterwards: "The stats say we're better. We had more shots, crosses, more on target and 66% more corners. "They all add up but the one that doesn't is goals and that's been the problem all year. Villa got the stat that matters." He continued: "There were some excellent passing moves and I can't fault the commitment or effort of the players against an excellent side. "This result makes it much more difficult but we've got nine more points to play for. We've got to make sure come Sunderland we put three points on the board - no question about that." Dowie later added: "We've got nine goals from our strikers (all season). It burns you and it burnt us again today. It's what you pay big money for, people that don't make errors. The best defenders don't make errors. I like my defenders not to be emotional, they've got to think clearly." He was also disappointed with Hull's start, saying: "They had 10 passes and we didn't make a tackle. We talked about having a really big start. After we rejigged it we got a response but you're a goal down then. I don't understand the start to be honest." Meanwhile, the Hull boss is expecting to be without Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink for Saturday's must-win game against Sunderland after the striker was knocked out in a challenge with Richard Dunne. There was a seven-minute delay as the Dutchman was treated on the pitch before being taken to hospital for a CT scan. Dowie said: "I'm very doubtful (he'll be available) because of the amount of time he was out. He was out for five minutes so that's a real worry. We'll have to wait and see but he was looking in a fairly bad way."
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