Stephen Quinn conjured his first goal in five months to send Hull into second place above Watford with this win last night, but Steve Bruce's inspired double substitution played a huge part.
Hull's manager gave his lethargic side a shake-up from the bench and within a minute his captain, Robert Koren, and striker Jay Simpson had set up Quinn's 65th-minute strike. Koren's cross and Simpson's lay-off allowed the midfielder to drive home his first goal since October, on a night that did little to advertise the Championship's qualities.
Bruce had set his Hull hopefuls a promotion target of six wins from their last 10 games, but there seemed no great hunger from his players to chalk up the first. It was hardly the Monday night football feast Sky viewers might expect for their subscription, but Burnley fans have already begun to vote with their feet. The gaps in the stands owed something to the bitter cold and the fact that the game was being televised, but also reflected the views of a sizeable portion of their support.
Burnley's promise as promotion candidates has faded, and the Clarets had their lowest league crowd for four years against Barnsley's FA Cup heroes last week – barely 10,500.
Burnley's football looks more methodical if less exciting under manager Sean Dyche, and there are those who don't feel it has benefited Charlie Austin, a striker who couldn't stop scoring until December. He remains one of the top scorers in the league with 26 goals, but only five have come in the last three months. His one first-half chance, after 16 minutes, was headed hopelessly over. Ross Wallace hit a cracking left-footer to test David Stockdale, but Chris McCann should have done better from the corner than to head over.
Hull could hardly muster a decent reply until Gedo forced a fine save from Lee Grant early in the second half. Ironically, the Egyptian was one of those to make way for the substitutions that changed everything.
Burnley (4-2-3-1): Grant; Tripper, Duff, Shackell, Mee; McCann, Edgar (Bartley, 63); Kacaniklic, Wallace (Ings, 84), Treacy (Vokes, 54); Austin. Substitutes not used Jensen (gk), Paterson, Lafferty, Long.
Hull City (3-5-2): Stockdale; McShane, Hobbs, Chester; Brady, Quinn (Rosenior, 86), Bruce (Koren, 64), Meyler, Elmohamady; Boyd, Gedo (Simpson, 64). Substitutes not used Jakupovic (gk), Fathy, Faye, Proschwitz.
Referee E Ilderton (Tyne & Wear).Reuse content