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Kuhl takes positives from KC Stadium display

16 December 2015

Interim boss reacts to a cruel late defeat at Hull

Interim Royals boss Martin Kuhl was naturally disappointed with the result and the late goal which denied his team anything from a trip to the KC Stadium this evening - but he couldn't fault his side's commitment and the renewed belief they showed especially in an impressive first half display against the Tigers.

"I can't fault the lads, I thought they worked tremendously hard," he said after the 2-1 defeat. "They put one hell of a shift in out there and we created a lot of chances in the first half, and scored a very well-executed goal.

"We didn't come here to defend. Playing Hec in midfield was about letting our attacking players have a bit more freedom. And it worked.

"Their commitment was very good to see, the discipline of the team was good, the movement of the players was good, the football we were playing had a good flow, and there was belief there."

But a string of injuries forced Kuhl to reshuffle his defensive pack and City took advantage. "We prepared ourselves for them coming at us after half-time and we knew for that all the good stuff we'd done in the first half, we'd have to do better in the second.

"But the injuries didn't help, of course they didn't. Especially in the manner of where they were - all across a back line which had looked very secure. We were under pressure, but I thought we were quite comfortable - and I always felt we had a counter attack in us and that we might get a break away to nick another goal.

"But Anton fell and felt a sharp pain in his groin so we'll see how that goes. Gunts has got a deep cut under his eye and Tayls got caught in his ribs off the ball. So the injuries forced us to reshuffle.

"And it disrupted it a lot because Hec was doing a good job in there. For the last one, we were trying to get messages onto the pitch and get someone in at left-back and they took advantage of it. It happened too quick and before we could get re-organised again they got the goal. But that's football.

"I still thought we were going to get something in the seven minutes of injury time. Coops gets a header and it's close...but you have to believe. It's hard, but they have to have faith in what they are doing. If they keep playing like they did in that first half, they'll have a half a chance.

"The way the game ends, it was disappointing. And they're gutted in there. They're human. They don't want disappointment, they want to win. But we'll regroup again tomorrow."

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