LEONID SLUTSKY admits that Hull City’s scintillating victory over Birmingham City has lifted the pressure from his shoulders.
The Russian was starting to feel the strain with the Tigers heading into Saturday’s game on the back of a poor run of one win from eight league matches, which had seen them take a meagre five points from 24.
But the 46-year-old saw the dark clouds begin to part after watching Hull secure their first win in six second-tier games in outstanding fashion in the 6-1 routing of the Blues – with the Tigers chief heading back to his native Russia for a few days’ break with spirits enhanced.
Revealing that he felt some pressure before the game, Slutsky acknowledged: “If you ask about me, yes.
“But we have a good team with a lot of experienced players. Really, the team have helped me in this very difficult situation.
“We have spoken a lot of times and always they have trusted me and spoken about this situation.
“I am very thankful for everybody, the players, staff and supporters.”
The win also proved a tactical triumph for Slutsky, whose decision to revert to a 4-2-3-1 system reaped a harvest, with Hull producing their most eye-catching and balanced performance of the season, while enhancing their reputation for being entertainers, too.
Having seen his side set the standard, Slutsky is seeking further replications in the weeks and months ahead, while making a prediction that his Hull side will never be ‘boring’.
It is not the first time that we showed this quality in a match. We showed this quality in each match, but not in the whole 90 minutes – but 60, 30 or in one half. Now, we must make this our level.Hull City head coach, Leonid Slutsky
Slutsky, whose side finished off a black September in morale-boosting fashion, added: “It was a really good balance. We were not only effective, but played right.
“We were very close (before). It is not the first time that we showed this quality in a match.
“We showed this quality in each match, but not in the whole 90 minutes – but 60, 30 or in one half. Now, we must make this our level. I think if we keep this level, it will be the best for everybody.
“We play for the supporters and I really hope that when we have had bad results that each supporter helps the team because they understand about the quality of the game.
“With Hull City, it has never been boring! It is very interesting; we can concede in the last minute, but each of the three wins has been a big result, 4-0, 4-1 and 6-1.
“Really, we decide that our target is to never be boring. Now, it is serious, we must keep this level of our game.”