Dowie delighted by Tigers' spirit
The three points in Dowie's first home game in charge ended a five-game losing run and saw Hull move level on points with 17th-placed West Ham having played a game fewer. Dowie's selection was influenced by injury and illness and he was delighted to see his players bounce back in style from last week's last-gasp 3-2 defeat at Portsmouth. He said: "The fates have conspired against us a bit and I thought they responded in fantastic fashion. They played with guts, they played with desire. "Paul McShane lost his dad a week and a half ago, he's played two games - the lad's got a heart the size of a bucket. They're the sort of things you need in this sort of situation. "(Ibrahima) Sonko's come in and done brilliantly, I thought Fagan and (Jozy) Altidore were a real handful, so it was a pleasing display. "The clean sheet was very, very important and we've got four goals in two games. The second goal was a fantastic goal and the least he deserved, Fagan, I thought he was magnificent, he never stopped running. "The boys have worked their heart out and they deserved that result after the cruel nature of last week's defeat." Boaz Myhill had already pulled off a decent save from Zoltan Gera when Chris Smalling wrestled Altidore to the ground in the 16th minute. Former Fulham midfielder Jimmy Bullard, who had been booed by the visiting supporters, made no mistake from the spot, finding the top corner. The hosts rode their luck in the remainder of the first half, with first George Boateng and then Steven Mouyokolo clearing off the line from Gera efforts. And within three minutes of the start of the second half, Hull had grabbed the goal that secured a crucial three points. Fagan did well to get on the end of Dean Marney's deep cross and his looping header beat a stranded Mark Schwarzer. The Fulham side showed six changes from the FA Cup defeat by Tottenham in midweek, and Roy Hodgson admitted afterwards he had rested Bobby Zamora, Damien Duff and Danny Murphy ahead of Thursday's Europa League quarter-final against Wolfsburg. Hodgson, though, did not feel any of Hull's fellow strugglers could have cause for complaint. He said: "What most managers should be saying is how well we've done to keep playing the same players week after week. I don't think it's fair for anybody to suggest we can (cope with the number of fixtures) with 11 players. "The players who've come into the team, I think I'm entitled to say those players are more than capable of playing at this level - (Chris) Smalling's a £10million Manchester United player, (Kagisho) Dikgacoi plays for South Africa and Clint Dempsey is the star of the USA team. So I didn't think we've done anything other than what anyone could expect us to do. "I don't think today the situation was any more complicated than we paid a high price for conceding such a bad first goal then, in the second half, when we looked like maybe we could take the game to Hull, we conceded another very poor second goal, which gave Hull something to hold onto, and they did that exceptionally well." Meanwhile, Hull chairman Adam Pearson used his programme notes to have a dig at previous manager Phil Brown, who was sacked last week after more than three years in charge. Pearson said: "I feel a big squad has sometimes hampered us this season as we seem to have had no consistency on selection, no established pairings in defence, midfield or attack and no continuity on team shape or formation. "Wolves have found their best team and stuck to it with an unchanged squad now for a dozen games. Their squad is smaller, their wage bill is half the size of ours but they have found their best team, combinations and team unity at the right time. This is what we have asked Iain to do. "The club really has been losing too many games now with only six wins in 58 games. A change had to come as every conceivable route had to be explored to gain safety and, with one win in 15, it wasn't coming under the previous direction." Pearson also explained the decision to put Brown on gardening leave and revealed he will be on Hull's payroll until the end of the season. "It is a fact of life that we have to run and manage the club effectively and the garden leave clause is there to aid the huge compensation impact of management change," he said.