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Saturday 18 November 2017

Hernandez prioritises Hull's Premier League survival over personal glory

Abel Hernandez has hit the ground running since returning from injury
Abel Hernandez has hit the ground running since returning from injury

Hull striker Abel Hernandez put the emphasis on his side's Premier League survival fight rather than personal glory after his double helped sink Bournemouth 3-1.

Hernandez has breathed life back into the Tigers' season since returning from a two-month lay-off following hernia surgery three games ago.

He marked his comeback with a goal in Hull's 2-0 FA Cup win against Swansea last week and sparked a deserved fightback against Bournemouth in head coach Marco Silva's first league game in charge.

The Uruguay international headed a first-half equaliser after Hull had fallen behind to Cherries winger Junior Stanislas' third-minute penalty and rammed home an excellent second soon after half-time before Tyrone Mings' own goal sealed a first league victory since November 6.

"It was a good win and a good performance and so we can look forward now," Hernandez told the club's official website after his side had climbed off the foot of the table.

"I am happy to score two very good goals, but the most important thing was that the team got a very important win, so I am very happy.

"We are happy with this win and we need to win more games now because the important thing this season is that we stay in the Premier League."

Silva has had little time to work with his players since replacing Mike Phelan just nine days before the Tigers exacted revenge on Bournemouth following their humiliating 6-1 defeat on the south coast in October.

The Portuguese has been encouraged by what he has seen so far, but insists there is still plenty of work to do both on and off the field if Hull are to stay in the top flight.

"We need to improve a lot. It's not small things," Silva said.

"We need to continue improving because it is different ideas, a different style of game, different style in training. We need to improve a lot.

"We don't have time to prepare many, many things. When we arrived here we had two days to prepare for the first game, then two days to prepare for the Manchester United game (in the EFL Cup) and two days to prepare for this game.

"But what I saw during 90 minutes - I saw many, many things (that were) different in our team."

Silva said when he first arrived it would require "a miracle" if Hull were to stay up, but opposite number Eddie Howe does not think the East Yorkshire side's position is so perilous.

"I don't think it would be a miraculous escape," Howe said. "They're in amongst it, but I think there's minimal difference between the mid-table teams and the bottom teams.

"Anything can change at this stage of the season. I still feel there's a lot of football to be played so they'll be in the hat to improve their position."

Bournemouth, who slipped two places to 11th, have lost four of their last six league games, but Howe insists his players have not lost their self-belief.

"When you look at our league position, we're in the Premier League for only our second season," he added. "The confidence of the players is high.

"We came here really believing that a win could put us in a good position and - with the start we got - there's been no problems with confidence.

"Unfortunately games change on key moments and I felt that's what happened in this game."

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