HULL CITY head coach Grant McCann believes Jarrod Bowen “is the best in this league” after he scored twice to lift the Tigers to within four points of a play-off position.
Twenty-two-year-old Bowen continues to gain many admirers, and took his Championship tally to eight goals following a second-half brace within six minutes.
Bowen had played for most of the game up front, but Derby were floored once he was switched to a more accustomed position on the wing.
McCann said: “Jarrod’s top class. In terms of goal-scoring from a wide player, he’s top, top drawer.
“Anywhere he plays, he’ll have an effect on the game. He delivers every weekend and, for me, he’s the best. He’s grounded. It’s not me over-hyping him, it’s there in black and white for everyone to see.
“We feel as if he’s getting better and better all the time. He’s the best in this league – honestly, he really is.
“He wants to play at the top level and, hopefully, it’s with us.”
Hull, who had a fine victory at Nottingham Forest on Wednesday, just about deserved the win against a Derby side who continue to struggle on their travels.
The visitors had a ‘goal’ disallowed after 56 minutes, when Tom Lawrence was adjudged to have fouled Eric Lichaj.
But Hull kicked on thereafter and made the breakthrough in the 74th minute when Bowen headed home Leo Lopes’s perfect cross towards the far post.
Once Bowen scored an easy second after 80 minutes, Kamil Grosicki this time the provider, there was only going to be one outcome.
McCann said: “I thought it was a good performance. We were playing against a very good team.
“Defensively, I felt we kept our shape well and on transition, when we won it back, I thought the front four were excellent. In the first half, we didn’t take our chances – in the second half we showed a more clinical edge.
“We are pleased. It’s been a really good reaction from the last home game against QPR, when we lost 3-2.
“We’re probably not where we want to be – we want to be a lot higher. It’s all about momentum – every manager in this league is searching for momentum.”
Hull City: Long, Lichaj, Burke, De Wijs, Elder, Bowler (Eaves 72), Da Silva Lopes, Irvine, Grosicki (Honeyman 90), Toral (Stewart 77), Bowen. Unused substitutes: Tafazolli, Ingram, Kingsley, Pennington.
Derby County: Roos, Bogle, Davies, Clarke, Lowe, Shinnie (Waghorn 79), Bielik, Holmes, Dowell (Whittaker 68), Lawrence, Martin (Marriott 79). Unused substitutes: Wisdom, Hamer, Bird, Malone.
Referee: S Hooper (Wiltshire).