Hull City’s developing game plan is being undermined by errors – Callum Elder

CALLUM Elder is convinced Hull City have the quality to prosper in the Championship.

Jarrod Bowen, centre, wheels away in celebration after equalising Wigans early opener in a game that would ultimately end in frustration for Hull City. (Picture: Bruce Rollinson)
Jarrod Bowen, centre, wheels away in celebration after equalising Wigans early opener in a game that would ultimately end in frustration for Hull City. (Picture: Bruce Rollinson)

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But the Tigers must quickly find a ruthless streak if they are to hit their targets - with some very important games looming large.

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And Australian left back Elder, who made his debut in Saturday’s frustrating 2-2 draw with travel sick Wigan Athletic, stressed that City must first and foremost do the basics better if they are to climb the table and move away from danger.

Kamil Grosicki celebrates scoring Hull's second goal from a free kick. (Picture: Bruce Rollinson)

Grant McCann’s side did not hit top gear against the Latics but did more than enough to beat a team with just two away wins from 27 attempts at this level.

They recovered admirably after falling behind to Chey Dunkley’s eighth-minute strike to lead courtesy of Jarrod Bowen’s close- range effort and Kamil Grosicki’s sublime free-kick.

But they failed to put the game out of sight and were left to rue missed chances when teenage striker Joe Gelhardt came off the bench to rescue a point for the visitors with a fine individual goal.

“We feel in the changing room it was two points dropped,” said Elder. “But we need to take the positives from the game, it’s early in the season and it’s another point we can build on.

Joe Williams holds Tom Eaves off the ball. (Picture: Bruce Rollinson)

“For large spells I thought we were on top, especially in the second half.

“It’s just about capitalising on it and when they have their spell in the game we need to make sure we’re compact and don’t concede.

“We can definitely improve our ruthlessness in both boxes,” he added.

“There were spells in the second half when we had really good chances.

“Goals change games and if we had scored a third we’d have got a really strong foothold in the game and a bit more leeway to control things.

“In saying that when they have their spell we need to make sure we don’t concede by doing the basics right and I feel the basics let us down.”

McCann has unquestionably put his own stamp on this team but, surprisingly given the international break, there was little evidence of his requirement for high-octane pressing from his side from the first whistle.

Wigan enjoyed some good early possession and got their noses in front when Charlie Mulgrew’s inswinging free-kick was flicked towards goal by Kieffer Moore and George Long could not hold onto it, leaving Dunkley with the simplest of finishes.

To their credit Hull responded immediately and were level within two minutes when Grosicki crossed for Bowen who coolly slotted past David Marshall at the second attempt.

The goal settled the home side who started to play some neat intricate football in dangerous areas, particularly via the dangerous Grosicki down the left.

When the Polish winger was cynically brought down by Nathan Byrne he picked himself up and brilliantly curled home the resultant free-kick on the angle of the penalty area to give his side the lead after 20 minutes.

But from that point Hull were unable to kick on – and that rather sums up their season to date.

Their frustration was epitomised by Tom Eaves whose wait for a first goal in Hull colours continues.

The big striker headed George Honeyman’s delightful cross over the bar and also saw a couple of decent second-half chances go begging, while Marshall did well to keep out a good attempt from Elder and another Grosicki free-kick.

The game appeared to be drifting towards a much-needed victory for the hosts with Wigan offering little. But Gelhardt had other ideas, the 17-year-old showing maturity beyond his years to turn his man and fire home a 75th-minute equaliser within three minutes of coming on.

The Tigers’ next five games – against Luton Town, Cardiff City, Sheffield Wednesday, Huddersfield Town and Queens Park Rangers – present a realistic opportunity to add to their solitary league win but they simply must develop a clinical edge.

“I don’t really see it as getting one win and going from there,” said Elder.

“It’s about consistently doing the right things, which we are doing.

“The gaffer’s very confident in the philosophies he has implemented into the squad and it’s about us working hard on the training pitch and making sure we’re doing it for 90 minutes and not just in spells.

“If we can do those things for 90 minutes and not for 85 minutes, or 65 minutes, then we will see a surge in results.

“Collectively we can achieve good things because at times we are showing we are a real threat in this division,” he added.

“The overall target stays within the dressing room but throughout the season we do have little points targets we want to achieve and how we can do that.

“We can exploit teams from wide areas.”

Hull: Long, Lichaj, De Wijs, Tafazolli, Elder, Bowen, Stewart, Honeyman (Da Silva Lopes 71), Grosicki, Irvine, Eaves (Bowler 84). Unused substitutes: Ingram, Fleming, Pennington, Lewis-Potter, Bonds.

Wigan: Marshall, Byrne, Dunkley, Mulgrew, Robinson, Williams, Morsy, Massey (Gelhardt 72), Lowe, Jacobs (Naismith 90), Moore (Garner 72). Unused substitutes: Macleod, Fox, Evans, Jones.

Referee: G Ward (Surrey).