Home truths helped Tigers - Dowie
Published : 18 Apr 2010 17:01:00Rss feed
Hull gave caretaker boss Iain Dowie the response he wanted in Saturday's goalless draw at Birmingham after a "no-holds-barred" meeting. Dowie reminded his players of how damaging an effect relegation from the Premier League will have on the club and the area. Dowie called his squad together to point out their responsibilities after the 4-1 home defeat by Burnley eight days ago. And the former Crystal Palace manager's approach did the trick as the Tigers gained a creditable stalemate with top-10 side Birmingham at St Andrew's - only their fifth away point of the campaign. Dowie confirmed: "We had a meeting on Tuesday. It was a no-holds-barred, nitty gritty meeting where a few homes truths were told. "Too often you tread on egg shells. I didn't think it was a week to do that with the players. It was a week to tell them how it is. "It wasn't a democracy, it wasn't a debate. It was me telling them what we are we going to do. "With the cosseted lives they have, they sometimes forget the impact of their actions. You lose 60, 70 jobs if you go down in an area that is deprived anyway. "It is a working class area and they demand to see the lads put a shift in and the second half we didn't do that enough against Burnley. "I got them all in my office. People like Nick Barmby, Andy Dawson and Ian Ashbee have been at the club since it was in the lower regions and it has come an awful long way in a short time. "We've got people like Kevin Kilbane and Dawson who are proper lads. They care deeply about being a Premier League footballer. The good thing is we got the response we wanted at Birmingham." Dowie added: " If we can keep this club up, it will be very important for the whole region and that is the key element for me is what it means. "It is an area that can sustain a Premier League club. The infrastructure is there, the ground is good, all those things. "It would be a very good achievement. We now need to response to a very good away point with some points at home. "They are a good bunch of lads. Whether we have the quality to stay up, we will see in the next four games. I believe we have." Dowie admits that Hull's ability to keep further clean sheets will be pivotal to their survival chances. He said: "Look how many clean sheets we've got away from home. It is very poor. I think we've got to base it on clean sheets. That is a key issue. "I don't think we are set up to go gung-ho. Look at our record. We have conceded goals. It is two clean sheets in four games and it is important we can continue that sort of thing." Birmingham, in contrast, are already assured of another season in the top flight despite failing to win any of their last seven matches. But boss Alex McLeish still believes the club's achievements this season are on a par with anything he has experienced in a career which saw him enjoy major success at Rangers as a manager and Aberdeen as a player. He said: "I still feel this is the equivalent of going for honours, what we have done this season. "That is why I keep driving the players on, to try and get to 50 points, to get beyond 50 points, and we've still got games to do that in. "Relatively speaking, this is as good as anything I have achieved." McLeish has sympathy for Dowie's plight having gone down with Birmingham in his first season in charge two years ago. He said: "It is horrible. The thing that stopped us from stopping up was the home draws. "In the 13 home games I had that season after coming in midway through, there were eight draws, four wins and one defeat and that was against Chelsea. "We travelled away feeling vulnerable and not believing in ourselves. It is almost like you needed the opposition to score a goal before we would start reacting. "It is a tough place to be but Hull came out, set their stall out, have a lot of experienced players, and a draw was a fair result."