1. The 2-0 win at Cardiff on Tuesday was very encouraging. It was close to the perfect away display: start the game with positive intent, score early, defend stoutly and pinch another on the break. Not that it’s saying much, but that was easily City’s best performance on the road this season.
2. Cardiff slightly played into City’s hands, however. Perhaps they were wrongfooted by our reversion to 3-5-2 (of which more shortly), but seeking to rescue the game by pumping high balls into our penalty area was stodgy stuff and easily repelled by a back three whose aerial prowess is formidable. That said, Cardiff are a decent side and we kept them at bay with reasonable comfort – and their shortcomings needn’t overshadow what was a very good defensive performance.
3. Elsewhere, Alex Bruce starting and Ahmed Elmohamady being dropped after 100 consecutive games raised eyebrows before the game, though the outcome vindicated the manager. The move back to 3-5-2 was perhaps less controversial – it just seems to fit City better. It could be a coincidence that our perhaps our best victory of the season followed it. It also may not be.
4. Meanwhile, City beamed this game back to the Circle, for a few hundred souls gathered in the posh parts of the West Stand. It’s no substitute for being there, and the focus really ought to be on the 300 or so who actually made it to Cardiff (disclaimer: none of us managed it), but nonetheless there’s no harm in acknowledging the club’s effort in making an otherwise unwatchable fixture available back in Hull.
5. QPR was a little less enjoyable, obviously. City did well to come from behind, but in the second half with the game there to be won we were a short of inspiration when trying to break them down.
6. Their miserable negativity was a bit of a surprise – if City so wholly abandon ambition in any League game this season, we’ll be quite annoyed. No game is unwinnable, unless you don’t try to win it. But perhaps we’re blaming QPR for shortcomings on City’s part. A bit slow, a bit predictable – all the same worries we’ve had so far this season showed themselves.
7. Still, the situation is much improved upon a week ago. After the rotten defeat at Brighton, we’d have certainly taken four points from the next two games. We got that, and the League table shows that this is a good start to the season and that we’re definitely in the hunt for promotion – even if things at the moment feel slightly flat.
8. An interesting midweek awaits. Swansea will fancy a League Cup tie in Hull like a hole in the head, and it’s anyone’s guess what side they’ll put out. This is a tie we can win. And the Fourth Round of the League Cup is no mean feat. All it’d take is a few big sides to be knocked out, a favourable draw, and…okay, we’ll stop there.
9. Fresh from his defeat at the hands of Hull City fans, Assem Allam is taking on the new Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn. At least it’ll give him something to do other than serially annoy us.
10. A court has prevented Hull City Council’s attempt to serve an injuction on the SMC over their attempt to evict numerous local sporting clubs following the installation of a pitch designed to benefit City. It’s all so unsatisfactory: the Allam’s high-handed arrogance, the local council frittering over £100,000 of taxpayers’ money (if the SMC are to be believed) – it really shouldn’t be this way.