QPR v Hull City: Tigers’ poor away form leaves Steve Bruce searching for answers

Hull City manager Steve Bruce (Picture: Bruce Rollinson).
Hull City manager Steve Bruce (Picture: Bruce Rollinson).
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MANAGER Steve Bruce insists Hull City’s “mentality” has to change if the club’s damaging run of away form is to be brought to an end.

The Tigers have taken just one point from four games on the road, with December bringing hugely disappointing defeats at Leeds United, Rotherham United and Preston North End. Hull’s struggles on the road are in stark contrast to how things have been going at the KC Stadium, where Bruce’s men have taken 29 points from 12 games – a return only leaders Middlesbrough can match.

“If I could explain it,” said Bruce, “I would flick the switch right now. I haven’t asked the players for an explanation, as if you do that you get 20 different answers.

“I have always found playing two games in three days difficult when the second one is away, but we can’t make excuses. We haven’t performed. When we played at Rotherham (on December 19) there was no excuse there, either.

“We have to address it if we are going to get to where we want to be. Our away form in the second half of the season has to improve otherwise we are not going to achieve what we want.

“It is easy to draw conclusions, but it’s the mentality that has to change away from home. We had it up until a month ago. We had a hangover at the start of the season, but we had a run of six games when we weren’t beaten. We have to rediscover that resilience.”

Hull’s abject display in losing 1-0 at Deepdale last Monday was made all the more startling by how impressive they had been in beating Burnley two days earlier at the KC.

Bruce added: “I couldn’t have wished for any better. But, no matter how well we played then, we were poor at Preston. We deserved what we got – nothing. Individually, they let themselves down. You can analyse it until you are blue in the face, but it is a frustration for all of us.

“Our mentality has got to improve away from home. It has to be mentality because we have performed so well at home. Our home record at the halfway stage is practically impeccable.”

Last six games: QPR WDDDLD, Hull City LWWLWL.

Referee: K Stroud (Hampshire).

Last time: QPR 0 Hull City 1; August 16, 2014; Premier League.