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Hull City: I’m loving it! – Nigel Adkins after thrilling 3-2 victory

Nigel Adkins spoke to the media after goals from Kamil Grosicki, Seb Larsson and Jackson Irvine earned the Tigers a 3-2 victory over Brentford at the KCOM Stadium on Saturday in his first game as Head Coach.

Here’s some of what he had to say:

On the game as a whole…
“I loved it. I haven’t been in the dugout for 18 months so it was good. The players were top drawer. Results haven’t been going as they would have liked, but they were excellent and showed some great character and team spirit. We went in at half time at 0-0 and we knew we were up against a very good side that were very good in possession and movement, although we could have scored a couple ourselves in the first half. There was a great save from Bentley their goalkeeper from Michael Dawson’s header, and he tipped one over from Fraizer Campbell as well.

“Unfortunately we conceded straight after half time and that came from us trying to be assertive at the other end of the field. Brentford cleared the ball, Max Clark unfortunately couldn’t put it back into their box with the injury that he had and they’ve broken and scored. It was a test of character from that point, especially after the recent run of results. Great credit goes to the players because they’ve shown great character and team spirit, and that is the first thing that you need.

“We’ve got a lot of quality at this club, too. Jon Toral has come on and put a beautiful ball through for Jackson Irvine to score, there was a super strike from Kamil and I’m delighted that he went over to celebrate with Tony Pennock (First Team Coach) because it shows the work that he has been doing to support the players.

“Seb scored a wonderful free kick, and then you look at it and Fraizer should have scored when he hit the bar, but he did ever so well in the game and he works tirelessly. Nouha Dicko as well – the goalkeeper has got across to make a good save.

“At the other end, Allan McGregor made a fantastic save from the free kick but Brentford get the ball back into the box and score to make it 3-2. That made it interesting with two minutes to go and then eight minutes of added time which went to nine minutes with the bookings that were given. We had to show character to see the game out and the players did that. It’s a great start.”

On what he learned about his squad…
“We’ve got some good players, but we’ve got one hell of an injury list as well. Everybody that was available today was on the teamsheet. That’s a challenge but we have an excellent medical team and we’ll deal with that.

“It’s been a really positive couple of days and this result makes it even more positive because we’ve got the victory. We gave the crowd something to cheer about and the supporters really got behind the players. From where I was stood, they really made an atmosphere that supported the team and that was great.”

On the introduction of Jon Toral from the bench at 1-0 down…
“I think he’s an excellent player, but we have a lot of excellent players here. We just need them to all come together to be part of the team.”

On what work needs to be done defensively…
“We’ve only had two days on the training ground so we have got a lot of information that we’d like to give to the players. That will take a period of time to get right in terms of how we want to go and play. It helps if you have a settled side and everybody understands where we’re going from. We’ve got a run of games coming up now thick and fast and with the injuries that we’ve got, and we picked up more in this game, that is going to be challenging. You want to play a certain way, but we’ve got to be effective with our football. We were very long and direct in this game to start off with. They were very good with the ball and we couldn’t get our tempo going. You then have to manage the game. Today it was important to work through the process of taking one step at a time and we got the victory which was the outcome we were after.”

On what it means to him to win his first game in charge…
“We all want to win. We’ve got good players and we want to encourage them to do their jobs, but to do that as part of a team. We’ve seen them all work hard for each other in this game. Confidence is a massive thing in football and this is a step in the right direction in terms of moving forward.”