Hull City leave Liam Rosenior purring by following bark with bite in dismantling of QPR

Hull City’s scintillating display of attacking exuberance in their 3-0 win over Queens Park Rangers was enthralling and puzzling in equal measure.

Liam Rosenior’s men were slick and cutting, their football pleasing on the eye yet undeniably effective.

Ozan Tufan opened the scoring with a jaw-dropper, a curling effort from distance that thudded against the crossbar before dropping into the goal.

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The second was almost as stylish, with Tufan the creator. The Turkish playmaker sent Fabio Carvalho through with a deft flick before the loanee neatly lifted over Asmir Begovic.

Liam Rosenior's Hull City were clinical against Queens Park Rangers. Image: Ashley Allen/Getty ImagesLiam Rosenior's Hull City were clinical against Queens Park Rangers. Image: Ashley Allen/Getty Images
Liam Rosenior's Hull City were clinical against Queens Park Rangers. Image: Ashley Allen/Getty Images

Jaden Philogene tormented QPR throughout and weighed in himself after the break, lashing home on the rebound after a free-kick delivery into the box.

However, fans could have been forgiven for mixed feelings about the performance. It was the type of display Hull are clearly capable of producing, but one they have not produced often enough of late.

Had they shown this potency regularly since late February, they would most likely have a place in the top six.

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Instead, Hull are chasing a play-off finish in the knowledge their fate is no longer in their hands.

That being said, results elsewhere made the win over QPR more rewarding than many fans would have expected it to be. Coventry City, Middlesbrough and Preston North End failed to pick up wins, pushing Hull into seventh, six points adrift of sixth-placed Norwich City with a game in hand.

Tigers head coach Liam Rosenior felt the biggest differences were in both boxes, as Hull showed a sharpened clinical edge while running a tighter ship at the back.

He said: “Our performance level was not dissimilar to Middlesbrough. I’ve got to be honest, I thought we were excellent. The difference was both boxes today.

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“We were really clinical and ruthless and the players showed their quality in key moments, and showed really good moments of defending and resilience to our game.

“A couple of professional fouls in there as well, which I probably shouldn’t say but I liked them. It showed a steeliness and a bit of being streetwise, which I think we’ve lacked at times.

“Development-wise, very, very good. If we play at that level for the next four games, we’re going to be a very, very difficult team to play against.”

Hull have been hoisted by their own petard at times this term, enjoying possession without cutting through the lines and consequently inviting opponents forward.

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Although QPR applied pressure for spells, they were already chasing the game due to Hull’s ruthlessness.

Under Rosenior, Hull have always looked to play what would be perceived by purists as the ‘right way’. Not all EFL sides take this approach but it was encouraging to see Hull make their game plan effective against an opponent less willing to pass their way up the pitch.

Rosenior said: “They did what most teams do when they come here - kick-off, kick the ball on a diagonal, try and fight, win a header, win a second ball, have a shot. That’s what we have to deal with.

“There’s nothing wrong with that but that’s what teams are doing, especially when they come here. We came through that. Ryan [Allsop] makes a save I expect him to make. Then, after that, when we make the game our game, we dominated the game, we controlled the game.

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"Some of our football was excellent. I hope the fans enjoy watching it because I do. That’s what I’ve been working so hard to bring to this club, from when I rejoined the club.”

Performances across the board were strong, with homegrown defender Matty Jacob among those to stand out. Starting him at left-back ahead of Ryan Giles, a high-profile addition in a busy January transfer window, was a bold call vindicated by Jacob’s performance.

Rosenior said: “I thought Matty Jacob was an absolute delight to watch today. To see his development, his calmness and composure in possession, his defending.

“He’s gone in for a 50-50 with his head, with someone’s foot. I love seeing young players come through who love this club and give everything for the club. I thought he was another real plus point today.”

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Hull still have ground to make up and the final two play-off spots are West Bromwich Albion and Norwich’s to lose. However, if Hull have indeed found their clinical edge and can maintain it until the clock runs out on the season, the belief of fans in the Rosenior project could potentially be rewarded. Improbable? Perhaps. Impossible? Definitely not.

Hull City: Allsop, Slater, Jones, Greaves, Jacob; Seri (Docherty 85), Morton (Christie 90); Omur (Giles 68), Tufan (Delap 67), Philogene; Carvalho (Traore 85).

Unused substitutes: Pandur, Ashbee, Connolly, Sharp.

Queens Park Rangers: Begovic, Dunne (Cannon 45), Cooke, Clarke-Salter, Fox (Larkeche 84); Hayden (Colback 73), Field; Willock, Andersen (Smyth 45), Chair; Dykes (Armstrong 84).

Unused substitutes: Walsh, Paal, Dixon-Bonner, Hodge.

Referee: Tom Nield (West Yorkshire)

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