Cardiff City v Hull City: Liam Rosenior's week of plaudits and pelters shows he needs to strike better balance

LIAM ROSENIOR is adamant his style of play will never change as Hull City coach, but admits there are areas where it needs to be more productive.

Rosenior has taken the East Yorkshire club from the bottom end of the Championship to serious play-off contenders in less than 18 months with a possession-based game but just as the plaudits have come his way, so those play-off hopes have been cast into serious doubt.

Consecutive Easter defeats on the back of four straight draws have left Hull six points outside the play-off places with a game in hand going into Saturday's game at Cardiff City.

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Likewise, Hull were praised for their performance at Elland Road on Monday – but lost 3-1.

"I will never change the style of play," insists Rosenior. "We'll adapt, there's always different tweaks, but the overall principle is to always dominate with the ball, to always dominate territory and to score more than the opposition."

But there have been so many examples across the board in recent years of domination of the ball not translating into victories, and Hull are too often guilty, with Friday at home to Stoke City a case in point.

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"Stoke was a massive opportunity," says Rosenior, whose team are fifth in the Championship for possession, 12th for goals. "We didn't play the occasion how I expected. We didn't play with the energy I expected us to play with and make the most of final-third entries.

DISAPPOINTMENTS: Hull City coach Liam Rosenior did not have a happy EasterDISAPPOINTMENTS: Hull City coach Liam Rosenior did not have a happy Easter
DISAPPOINTMENTS: Hull City coach Liam Rosenior did not have a happy Easter

"We're arriving in the final third time and time again. We need to make more of the pressure we have.

"Going to Leeds is always difficult. It felt like a little bit of a pat on the head – again – being told what a good team we are, the best team that had gone to Elland Road. I don't want that, I want the points.

"I don't want to be known as the best team to have visited Elland Road, I want the three points, but the process is being appreciated from outside because they know that we're building towards something. It's not going to be perfect straight away.

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"Arsenal are top of the league, Mikel Arteta has been there five years, there's a point where people were questioning his style and he stuck with it and all of a sudden all the work he's done accelerates. I'm not asking anyone to say I'm the best manager in the world because we've not won in six – but there are many positive things happening."

Hull have doubts over full-backs Owen Coyle, who took a hefty kick to the torso at Elland Road and Ryan Giles (groin. For both it is a question of managing pain, rather than longer-lasting damage needing to heal.

Billy Sharp (hip) is a doubt but Jacob Greaves returns from a ban.

Liam Delap's return is expected in the middle of next week, though he is not expected to face Middlesbrough on Wednesday regardless.

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