Hull assistant manager Mike Phelan praised forward Greg Luer after he netted his second goal of this season’s Capital One Cup to send Hull through to the third round with a 1-0 win over Rochdale at the KC Stadium.
Luer netted the only goal when he applied a neat finish to Abel Hernandez’s slide-rule pass after eight minutes.
The youngster had scored in the first round against Accrington and also netted in the penalty shoot-out which put the Tigers through following a 2-2 draw.
Hull manager Steve Bruce had made nine changes to a team beaten 2-1 at Charlton as the Tigers look to make a quick return to the Premier League.
Their Sky Bet League One opponents, coming off a 0-0 draw at Chesterfield, showed little at the KC Stadium with Reuben Noble-Lazarus’ first-half strike proving to be a rare threat on the home goal.
Phelan said: “We talk about Greg and the kid’s done terrific. Greg probably has been fortunate to get a little look at it but he’s taken that opportunity.”
Phelan admitted Luer was one of a number of young players pushing for a place in the first team.
“He has scored two goals and he looks a threat,” Phelan added. “Hopefully he can keep responding to what’s happening on the training ground. It’s a great test of character and he does look like he’s enjoying himself.”
Phelan praised the attitude of Rochdale, who had tried to play their way back into the game after conceding the early winner.
“From our point of view we made eight or nine changes to the team and it was important to give those players the opportunity to play,” said Phelan.
Rochdale manager Keith Hill praised his players for the way they had performed against a side he thinks will be challenging for promotion from the Championship.
“We lost the match but I think the lads came out of it with a lot of credit,” said Hill.
“The first 10 minutes or so we got a little bit caught in the headlights. Once we got past that stage I thought we were excellent value for a draw.
“It’s about winning and not looking good. It’s a cup competition that not too many take seriously but I think the lads have come out with a little bit of glory with the way they have played.”
Hill opted for a defensive formation to start the game but made a change after his side had conceded the only goal.
He said: “We changed it but the philosophy shouldn’t be changed. It was a little bit misinterpreted what we went through on the training pitch.
“We dropped a little bit too deep too early. They are a very good at manipulating the ball.”
Hull: Jakupovic, Taylor, Bruce, Maguire, Robertson, Meyler, Hayden, Clucas, Diame, Hernandez, Luer. Subs: McGregor, Odubajo, Davies, Huddlestone, Dawson, Elmohamady, Jahraldo-Martin.
Rochdale: Lillis, Rafferty, McNulty, Eastham, Kennedy, Allen, Cannon, Henderson, Vincenti, Noble-Lazarus, Andrew. Subs: Bennett, Alessandra, McDermott, Tanser, Collis, Rose, Camps.
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