Iain Dowie bemoans Hull's lack of punch after crucial Aston Villa defeat
Goals from Gabriel Agbonlahor and James Milner, the latter a penalty, gave Villa a 2-0 win which keeps alive their outside hopes of a top-four finish while dealing a damaging blow to Hull's hopes of survival ahead of their home clash with Sunderland on Saturday. Dowie said: ''The stats say we're better. We had more shots, crosses, more on target and 66% more corners. Related ArticlesHull City 0 Aston Villa 2Pearson attacks ex-Hull chairman Paul DuffenPremier League actionPremier League tableTelegraph player raterPremier League fixtures''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 revealed striker Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink had gone to hospital following a clash of heads with Villa defender Richard Dunne, who needed stitches. The Hull manager added: ''Jan was out (unconscious) for three or four minutes. He's gone for a CT scan so it's very concerning.'' Martin O'Neill praised the character of his Villa side as they kept their Champions League hopes alive. It is a far cry from the end of last month, when Villa were thrashed 7-1 by Chelsea, who subsequently beat them in the semi-finals of the FA Cup. O'Neill said: "We're in the mix. We're going for everything and guaranteed nothing. We're not even guaranteed to finish eighth in the league at this minute. "We've gone above Liverpool with three games to go and that's pretty exceptional. But where I've been pleased with the team is they've responded fantastically to the defeat at Stamford Bridge. "We've come back and taken 10 out of the last 12 points. I think the team has shown a great deal of character all season and I think that was epitomised tonight." O'Neill felt his side were worthy winners, adding: "It was a very professional performance, and I thought we played very well, but at 1-0 the game's still in the balance and it was good to get the second goal, and we saw it through reasonably comfortably."
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