What a Difference Three Points Make

Brian RhodesSenior Analyst INovember 8, 2009

HULL, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 08: Hull City manager Phil Brown celebrates his teams late winning goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Hull City and Stoke City at the KC Stadium on November 8, 2009 in Hull, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Last season the Tigers won three home fixtures. The Kingston Communication Stadium was far from been a fortress. This season Phil Brown went on record that he wanted to turn the KC Stadium into a fortress for the Tigers.

This hasn't materialised, yet. However, this afternoon the Tigers equalled last season's home record with an impressive 2-1 victory against last season's promotion rivals Stoke City.

The Potters came to the KC on the back of an impressive season so far gaining 16 points from a possible 33, with the clubs only losses to Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool.

The Tigers were not on the same sort of form sitting in the bottom three with a paltry eight points from 11 matches.

So, how did Phil Brown and the Tigers turn the tables on their recent form? In recent outings the East Yorkshire club had been playing a restrictive 4-5-1 formation with a sole striker up front in the shape of Jan Vanegoor of Hesselink.

Vanegoor of Hesselink has valiantly kept the link for the Tigers but with little in the way of support as the midfield have been trying to bolster up the defense, and as such he has been a victim of the Tigers' frailties at the back.

Brown has been playing reactive football. Making changes to the team to counter the opposition. Today was different, he played proactive football. Instead of his usual 4-5-1 he reverted to 4-4-2 and the team delivered, just as it did when he used the same formation in the last thirty minutes against Bolton at the KC a few weeks back.

Vanegoor of Hesselink was sacrificed for the more athletic Altidore and Fagan was brought in alongside him. Both players play fast and aggressive football that unsettles defenders.

In the midfield Jimmy Bullard made his long awaited home debut and what a debut it was. Bullard was magnificent in the middle, controlling everything that came his way.

The only blip for the Tigers today was an error that cost them a goal well against the run of play, but things like that happen and it is a great mark of the teams fortitude that they played so well for Brown.

So, Brown has finally hit a winning formula. Can the team follow through and produce again against West Ham in the next game after the international break.

At the last international break, Hull City went into it with a deserved victory against Wigan and came back to a thoroughly lacklustre display in the loss to Fulham.

So, the Tigers have finally emerged from the bottom three. The Tigers' fans will be hoping Brown can keep the same team with the introduction of Geovanni (back from suspension) in place of Garcia and keep the momentum going. Fingers crossed.