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Football: City have to settle for 0-0 draw

Hull City 0 – 0 Leeds United (Tuesday January 30)

On a freezing cold night at the KCom, there were some fiery words from Hull City boss Nigel Adkins after his team’s 0-0 home draw against Leeds United, writes Roy Woodcock.

Stung by criticism of his team’s performance, not just in this game but in recent league matches, he rounded on one section of the media, accusing his accuser of being Mr Negative.

If truth be known, there was right on both sides. This was a poor Leeds United side, so poor you wondered how they were sitting 11 places above City in the league table, and City did have the best of the chances. But despite playing two up front for this game the Tigers still lacked that extra touch of class that would have seen the ball hit the back of the net.

Frazier Campbell returned to the side to partner Dicko up front and deserved his man of the match accolade on sheer work rate alone. He could have scored after just 5 minutes, beating the inexperienced Conor Shaughnessy, who was then stretched off after turning badly, but sent his shot wide from just 10 yards out.

With Leeds pressing high up the pitch, the game was being played in confined spaces and the referee didn’t help things flow thanks to his propensity to whistle at the slightest excuse.  Jarrod Bowen, Jackson Irvine and Nouha Dicko all strived to find an opening but there was no way past a resolute Leeds keeper.

Five minutes before the break Campbell did put the ball into the net, only for the goal to be ruled out; the referee penalising a challenge on the keeper by Dicko which, to these eyes, was merely an unavoidable collision. City hard done by, in my opinion.

Kamil Grosicki came on for Marcus Henriksen at the start of the second half and immediately beat his marker to send in a great cross. It looked for all the world that Dicko would head home, but somehow the keeper came for the ball, deflected it slightly and in doing so the City striker nodded over the bar from just a yard out.

As the clock wore down, substitutions on both sides came and went and for long periods you could sense a draw was in prospect. City did mount a flurry of attacks in the last ten minutes  and once again Campbell found himself in a decent scoring position, only to find the keeper with his shot.

By that time, it was important that if City couldn’t score they didn’t lose the game and perhaps this is where you have to side with Adkins. A few months ago the team might have capitulated to a breakaway; under the new manager there’s a steely discipline. They may now be eight without a win, but it’s also seven undefeated at home.

Bad news was the injuries to Markus Henrikson and Mazuch; let’s hope there will be some reinforcements coming in before the transfer window closes tonight. Adkins was playing his cards close to his chest last night but there were strong rumours circulating around the KCom   that Barnsley captain Angus MacDonald might be heading from South to East Yorkshire.

Hull City: Allan McGregor, Fikayo Tomori, Ola Aina, Michael Dawson, Ondrej Mazuch, Markus Henriksen, Seb Larsson, Jarrod Bowen, Jackson Irvine, Fraizer Campbell, Nouha Dicko

Subs: David Marshall, Max Clark, Jon Toral, Michael Hector, Evandro, Kamil Grosicki, Will Keane