Wary Dowie defends Tigers tactics
Published : 20 Apr 2010 17:36:00
Iain Dowie knows a lack of goals could be what condemns Hull to the Championship next season but taking a more attacking approach worries him. A number of Hull fans were frustrated with Dowie's tactics in the goalless draw at Birmingham on Saturday, when the Tigers started with only Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink up front. Jozy Altidore came on late in the game but as a replacement for Vennegoor of Hesselink, not to play alongside him. Hull have scored only 32 goals in 34 matches this season, the third lowest in the division, but Dowie on Tuesday insisted he got it right at St Andrew's. He said: "We've probably had more shots on target that we've had all year. We had come off a bad defeat (4-1 at home to Burnley) and away form has been a concern to us so we changed it for that. "Playing two up front is fine if the pair are scoring but we've got nine goals from strikers all year. We chucked Jozy on late in the game and maybe you go with two, but maybe you go with two and instead of getting a point you're sitting here with nothing. It's a small step but one that might be very important. "You've got to be pragmatic. It's not as if I've come in here and been able to change personnel so you've got to deal with the hand you've been given. "I understand where people are coming from with 4-4-2 but Spain will play 4-2-3-1 at the World Cup. "People have this thing in this country that you have to play 4-4-2. If England go to the World Cup and play 4-4-2 against Spain, you'll never see the ball. Systems are only as good as the people you have in them. "I understand people may have thought I should have kept two forwards on but I didn't think it was the right time. "We had two great opportunities in the last 10 minutes of the game, we didn't take them and people are right to criticise me. "I'm happy for people to criticise me as long as they stay behind the players." The point lifted Hull back above Burnley into 18th and within three points of West Ham, a gap they are looking to bridge with victory in their game in hand against Aston Villa on Wednesday night. With Sunderland due at the KC Stadium on Saturday, Dowie knows the next four days could go a long way towards determining what division Hull are playing in next season. And he has called for more of the same against Champions League hopefuls Villa after being impressed by his side's attitude on Saturday. "It was a good point and if we now respond in the same fashion in the two home games then we could be sitting here in two or three weeks' time talking about the first game of a Premier League season again," he said. "We're aware of the threat that Villa pose. I think they're the third best team away from home in the league and we know what they bring. (Villa boss) Martin (O'Neill) has done a terrific job there and he's invested in great players. "They're as good a side as there is in the country at counter-attacking so we've got to make sure we cope with their threats and maybe expose one or two weaknesses they have. "And if we bring to the party what we did on Saturday, and maybe a little bit more craft and a little bit more rub of the green, we'll put some points on the board for sure." Dowie brought in goalkeeper Matt Duke and teenage midfielder Tom Cairney against Birmingham and both will keep their places on Wednesday. But midfielders Dean Marney (illness) and Bernard Mendy (hamstring) are doubtful while Caleb Folan is set to miss out because of a hip problem.