Dowie keen to focus on positives
Dowie looked set for a dream start to life as Tigers boss when they led 2-1 going into the final couple of minutes at Fratton Park. But goals from Jamie O'Hara and Kanu turned the game on its head and left Hull three points from safety and still searching for a first away win of the season. They return to the KC Stadium on Saturday looking to end a run of five successive defeats but, at the end of his first week at the club, Dowie insists it is far from all doom and gloom. He said: "I watched the video a few times and it doesn't get any easier but we've got enough good characters around the place that came in bright and bubbly and we've had a good week. "The response has been good, there's a focus about them. I've learned they're a group of lads that really care about the club. "Sometimes in your darkest moments, you find something within yourself. That's the time when inspiration comes to you. We have to work alongside each other and hopefully each player on Saturday will be an inspiration for the one alongside him. "The key is to use what's been a positive start in lots of creative ways as a strength. It's very important we start the game in a positive frame of mind." Wolves' victory over West Ham in midweek saw Hull drop seven points below the teams in 15th and 16th but Dowie does not feel it is yet a case of three to go down from the bottom four. "I don't think it's got to that stage yet because we've got Wigan and Burnley to play so things can change," he said. "If we were to beat Wigan, then the gap's four points, which doesn't seem so bad." Tenth-placed Fulham have little to play for in the league and manager Roy Hodgson may well choose to rest players ahead of the first leg of their Europa League clash with Wolfsburg next week. But Dowie is expecting a committed showing from Hull's opponents, saying: "Roy will have them very well organised. They've got a good squad but it's about what we do - I'm not asking for any favours from Fulham. Our approach is to make sure they have to work hard to cope with us, that's the key." In little over two years, Hodgson has transformed Fulham from relegation candidates to a team capable of beating Juventus, and Dowie believes he would be a good choice as a future England coach. "I've got a huge amount of respect for Roy and what he's done," said the Hull boss. "He's a big success story. Sometimes we underestimate the quality of coaching in this country. "I think he certainly could (manage England). He's got the stature, he's certainly determined enough and strong enough in his own mind. If he keeps going like he is with Fulham, and if they were to get to a Europa League final, then why not?" Dowie will be missing a number of players through injury, with Amr Zaki, Kamil Zayatte, Ian Ashbee (all knee) and Anthony Gardner (ankle) definitely out. Andy Dawson (hamstring), Stephen Hunt (foot) and Liam Cooper (ankle) are also unlikely to be fit, although Jozy Altidore (hamstring) will be available and George Boateng returns from suspension. Dowie had hoped winger Hunt would be ready to return after missing more than a month with a foot injury. "Stephen's more sore than he thought he would be at this stage," he said. "He had an injection in the foot but he hasn't trained a lot and it'll be very close to the wire. He's a huge player for us and our top goalscorer so he's a loss."