LEEDS United boss Neil Warnock admitted his side were outplayed by an impressive Hull City team after the Whites went down 2-0 at the KC Stadium on Saturday.
United were fortunate to escape a bigger hiding as their much changed line-up failed to gel and were second best all over the pitch.
They attempted to match up the hosts with a similar 5-3-2 line-up, but it backfired with Hull well on top before they clinched victory with two goals in three second half minutes.
After a similarly poor performance at Nottingham Forest on Boxing Day the display left manager Warnock with problems to solve ahead of the next game at home to Bolton Wanderers on New Year’s Day. But he had no complaints over the result at the KC.
He said: “I think Hull are a one-off, I don’t think there’s another team like them in the league.
“They are by far the best organised team in the league, they play the same home and away. They have a good squad with decent replacements.
“I feel the frustration that the fans feel with our squad, but we’re all glad it’s January coming up.
“I’m trying to get new players in, the new owners are supporting me and want to bring players in.
“Whatever we do, we’re not going to cope with Hull and Cardiff, but looking at the other teams, we don’t have much to fear. We need to get our own house in order.
“Hull are where they are and I can’t see many overtaking them.
“They play with one up front and have a desire, they don’t give goals away and they have a good recipe for success.”
Warnock made five changes from the side that lost at Forest with Jason Pearce and Aidan White coming in to form a back five with Sam Byram, Alan Tate and Tom Lees; David Norris restored in midfield and strikers Ross McCormack and Davide Somma returning. They started well enough as they tried to push Hull back, but gradually the hosts got on top.
Their first chance came when Tate’s back pass fell woefully short, but Robert Koren was unable to beat keeper Paddy Kenny.
United looked to respond with Lees hitting an effort over from McCormack’s corner, but they failed to mark up from a corner at the other end and Abdoulaye Faye was left with a free header only to send the ball into the side netting.
Koren went close three times and Kenny made a great save to deny David Meyler before Hull finally got the lead they deserved seven minutes into the second half when Corry Evans finished well after being sent clear inside the area.
Within three minutes it was 2-0 as Meyler outjumped Byram to head home Robbie Brady’s corner.
Hull had more chances to kill the game off, but failed to add to their tally with Leeds producing only effort worthy of note when substitute Luke Varney’s header was comfortably saved.
Hull City 2
(Evans 52, Meyler 55)
Leeds United 0
Saturday, December 29, 2012
Hull: Jakupovic, Chester, Hobbs, Evans, Koren (Proschwitz 77), Faye, Aluko (Simpson 90), Elmohamady (Rosenior 83), Quinn, Brady, Meyler.
Leeds: Kenny, Byram, Tate, Lees, Pearce, White, Green, Brown, Norris (Austin 68), McCormack, Somma (Varney 46).
Referee: G Eltringham.