After a woeful performance at Reading, City welcome the league’s top two teams (Middlesbrough and Leeds) to the KCOM in the space of four days; a daunting task ahead to say the least.
The fact that this early on in the season we already have two so-called ‘bonus games’, where anything besides a resounding defeat can be seen as a positive, displays the current state of the club and ultimately, the way in which it seems to be heading.
Saturday’s opponents, Middlesbrough look a million miles from where we are right now and the league table gives the clearest indication of the gulf in class. Having conceded just three goals and keeping seven clean sheets in nine league games so far this season, it’s difficult to see where the goals are going to come from and how Adkins will set the team up for this one.
We have to go for it. If we sit back, they have the quality all over the park to pick us apart and cause serious damage in the process. There needs to be some changes if we are to have any kind of attacking success. If Evandro and Batty are unavailable once more, there’s no other option than to go with two up front.
Ideally, I’d like to see Martin and Campbell up top, our midfield options are very limited and it brings a different dimension to our play. For over a year now, we’ve been in good positions in matches, particularly at home, but when our striker becomes isolated and we can’t find a way out, that’s when we start to invite pressure, make mistakes and ultimately lose matches.
I don’t expect us to get anything from the next two games, but it’d make a pleasant change to see Adkins go for it a little bit.
However, Boro like to play with three in the middle of the midfield with Howson, Clayton, Saville and Besic amongst other quality options all at their disposal. Therefore, playing two up front could work against us as we would be vulnerable to being overrun in that department.
On the other hand, given Boro’s defensive record so far this season, I just can’t see us scoring or even threatening their back four if Adkins opts to leave out Evandro and only plays one up front.
It’s a difficult decision to make in so many aspects, with the pressure building on the Hull boss, will he be forced into making changes or stick to his guns and hope for improvement?
Hull City 0-2 Middlesbrough