Sunday 18 March 2018

Dowie noncommittal as Tigers doomed

Eleanor Crooks



Iain Dowie was coy about his future after Hull were yesterday effectively relegated from the Premier League. Darren Bent's seventh-minute goal coupled with West Ham's 3-2 victory over Wigan left Hull six points adrift of safety with two games left and with a vastly inferior goal difference.

Dowie was brought in last month following Phil Brown's removal with the task of keeping the Tigers up, and he paid tribute to the fans as he revealed his sadness at the club's plight.

He said: "I'm bitterly disappointed. It's a dark dressing room in there. The fans were absolutely sensational. They have come in great numbers and supported us magnificently in difficult times and we apologise to them.

"You're not going to right a thousand wrongs in a short period of time. I came here knowing exactly what was going on and in the end we weren't quite good enough to stay up."

Dowie was only given a contract until the end of the season and he insisted it is up to chairman Adam Pearson and owner Russell Bartlett whether he stays at the KC Stadium. "It's not a decision for me," he continued.

Another woeful start was not what Hull's situation called for and they could have been behind before Bent got on the end of Kenwyne Jones's header to put Sunderland ahead seven minutes in.

Gradually the hosts responded and they were unlucky when Anthony Gardner's header from point-blank range hit Craig Gordon.

But Hull only had themselves to blame for not drawing level four minutes before half time. A clear foul by Hull old boy Michael Turner on Geovanni brought a penalty but Jimmy Bullard did not strike the ball cleanly and it bounced away off a post.

Both sides then found themselves down to 10 men after an ugly incident in first-half stoppage time when Jozy Altidore and Alan Hutton tangled on the touchline. Hutton reacted foolishly to what he felt was a bad challenge by throwing the ball at his opponent, provoking Altidore into a headbutt in response.

The second half was a damp squib compared to the first and Hull rarely looked like finding the goal that would have at least kept their hopes alive for another week.

Sunderland boss Steve Bruce was incensed by Altidore's actions and accused the United States striker of committing "GBH".

"Hutton's got a cut eye, a smashed nose and a chipped tooth so he's close to having really serious facial injuries,'' said Bruce. "It's GBH, not a sending-off. I like Altidore but you don't want to see that."

Sunday Independent

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport