Alex Neil was full of praise for his Stoke side after they picked up their first win under his management with a convincing 3-0 victory over Hull at the MKM Stadium.
Stoke scored their first when Lewis Baker’s free-kick deflected off the wall and completely wrong-footed Tigers keeper Matt Ingram.
Baker turned provider when his floated cross was met by the head of Ben Wilmot, who scored his second goal of the campaign, and Baker’s second of the night – a curling effort from outside the area in the second half – helped his side score three in a match for the first time this season.
Neil told a press conference: “What I wanted for the players tonight was to play with a bit of belief and determination and I thought we got all of that.
“I thought we scored some good goals at good times, and thought we were hard to break down. I thought we looked a real threat going forward every time we broke so really pleased to score three goals, great to get a clean sheet and certainly a great win on the road.
“With Lewis, he’s got quality, he’s got goals from the middle of the park, he’s got legs, can pass the ball – we just need to make sure with him and everybody else that there’s a level of consistency.”
Neil was happy to pick up his first win sooner rather than later and felt more time on training ground with a new crop of players worked to his advantage.
“I’m more pleased for the players because when you have given them new messages and are asking them to do different things, nothing confirms that (better) than a good win. So I’m glad it (the win) came sooner rather than later.
“For the preparation for this match, it gave me an extra couple of days where I could show the players exactly what we are looking to do, how we could approach it, and I think they carried it out well.”
Hull boss Shota Arveladze was surprised to see his side run out 3-0 losers despite having 15 attempts but felt the team did not react quickly enough as Stoke took a stranglehold of proceedings.
“I did not expect this today,” he said.
“We did not have a game on Saturday, which should give us more energy, but the game went a different way.
“We need to play our own game and not wait for something to happen and then react, or the opposition doesn’t do well and then we react. If we observe the first 15 minutes or half an hour it could be too late.”
The three goals conceded mean Hull have lost three on the bounce and have shipped 18 goals in half as many games, giving them the worst defensive record in the division.
“It (goals conceded) is a lot,” said Arveladze. “I don’t want to have an excuse.
“Whatever happens, we have to go into the next game and do a lot better than we have in the last three.”
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