Hull City’s away day woes continued on Saturday afternoon, losing 2-0 in the Yorkshire derby at Huddersfield Town.

A goal in each half from Tom Lees and Duane Holmes condemned the Tigers to a seventh Championship defeat in their opening 11 games, and a seventh without finding the back of the net as their woes in front of goal continued.

Thankfully for City, they have another game in midweek against fellow strugglers Peterborough United to return to winning ways.

Here, City reporter Barry Cooper reflects on another bleak away day…

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System change

There are one or two topics which cause Grant McCann to get a little hot under the collar when he speaks to those members of the media permitted to speak with him, and one of those is formations.

Much of the talk surrounding City since the win over Boro has centered on formations and systems, Di’Shon Bernard even revealing how he thought his side felt more secure with three central defenders.

For regular viewers of City, however, it wouldn’t have come as much of a surprise to see McCann revert to his favoured 4-3-3 at Huddersfield and again after the game, it was a rather thorny topic for the manager, who refused to go into detail about his decision, instead suggesting those conversations would remain private.

Despite all the obvious criticism about formations, it wasn’t the change here that cost City specifically, it was the mistake from the goalkeeper at 0-0, and then an inability to find the killer pass when it mattered at the other end, or hit the target.

Much is made of systems, sometimes too much can be read into this and that, but ultimately, formations and systems are not the reason Hull City are losing games, they’re losing games because individuals continue to make the same very basic errors.

Until that stops, until those individual errors are cut out at both ends of the park, these problems will continue whether City play with three at the back, four or six.

Powder puff

That’s now 12 games this season City have played and they’ve scored in just four of those, another very obvious problem.

There was plenty of good play in and around the penalty box, one first half move in particular involving George Honeyman and Andy Cannon almost fashioned an opening, but the moments where they look really threatening as an attacking unit are few and far between.

In the second half before Duane Holmes was allowed to cruise along the edge of the box before sticking the ball in the top corner, City were on top, they were dominant and having all the pressure in front of their travelling supporters, but it’s difficult to make a case for ever feeling like the goal was being peppered with efforts, that the breakthrough was coming.

In the first half, Tyler Smith was ineffective and that was largely down to the fact City rarely played to his strengths, seldom could they get him breaking the lines, stretching Town and going in behind.

Smith has something about him, however and for reasons only McCann and his staff know, the team have not found a way to get him involved, yet, and it may be that City go with a Tom Eaves or Josh Magennis up with him.

There was a greater threat late on when Eaves came on the pitch, it gave Town something to think about inside their box, a challenge for them to overcome and a presence for the away team in the final third.

Eaves coming off the bench is having an impact and his involvement is something the Tigers may need to consider moving forward, because aside of Keane Lewis-Potter, the Liverpudlian is carrying the biggest threat.

The same old story…

Another game, another case of Hull City conceding from a set-play. Fingers will understandably be pointed at Matt Ingram for making an absolute mess of a corner he should have dealt with, but before that, McCann’s men were not set.

They were caught out at the corner and even before it was taken, there was so much wrestling going on inside the box that the referee called a halt to proceedings, it was Sheffield United all over again.

City simply have to be smarter, they have to be cleverer otherwise this will continue to happen and the season will only become more of a struggle.

They’ve got to learn quickly.

Wednesday night

Is huge.

The Blackpool game a few weeks ago was billed as a must win-type encounter even at this early stage, and if that was, then this certainly is, particularly when you consider that defeat for City in midweek would likely see Posh replace them in the bottom three.

It’s imperative that after a defeat like this, City find a result from somewhere, particularly in front of their own fans.

Out in force

On the subject of the supporters. After 18 months without fans, this was probably the best atmosphere of the campaign so far.

City fans were in good voice and so too were the Town fans in what was a decent attendance at the John Smith’s Stadium.

Particularly in the first half, those visiting 2,000 or so fans made their feelings towards the owners clear, and with Ehab Allam sitting in the posh seats watching on, he would have been fully aware of the noises coming from away to his right.

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