Manager Lee Johnson expressed pride and satisfaction in equal measure after his Bristol City side won 3-1 at Hull.
Johnson’s young side have now won three Sky Bet Championship games on the bounce and moved up to fourth place in the table following this accomplished success.
Johnson said: “I’m delighted with the win. I’m proud of the young players on the pitch to cope with the third game in a week like that.
“We were worried about their two wide men (Jarrod Bowen and Kamil Grosicki) – they are smart and clever and difficult to defend.
“You could see Hull were a good side, but I knew we could up our game in the second half with our fitness and quality, and that maybe Hull would fade as the game went on.”
In a hectic afternoon at the KCOM Stadium, Benik Afobe gave Bristol City the lead from the penalty spot after 41 minutes.
But Hull were always a menace going forward and equalised three minutes later when Bowen was given the freedom of East Yorkshire to stroke the ball past Daniel Bentley.
The hosts created several good chances in the second half – Grosicki struck the outside of a post, while Bowen should have headed home George Honeyman’s fine cross – but Bristol City were more streetwise in the final third.
And once Hull centre-back Reece Burke deflected Jack Hunt’s delivery into the back of his own net after 78 minutes, an away win became increasingly likely.
Likelihood became an inevitability two minutes later when Afobe made it 3-1 after he squeezed home Andreas Weimann’s cross.
Johnson said: “Our players played with great application and I was most pleased with the unselfish nature of the performance.
“There are lots and lot of positives given how difficult we knew this game would be.
“We weren’t at our absolute best, and times they were key moments (which went in Bristol City’s favour).
“But to see it out so convincingly with the youth we had on the pitch was very satisfactory.
“You take the wins, any which way they come.”
The Bristol City manager was also especially pleased with the contribution of Afobe.
Johnson said: “His runs are a big thing for us.
“I think he’s enjoying himself. He was keen to take the penalty and tucked another one in for us.
“He’s become a bit of a leader for us, which is nice.”
Counterpart manager Grant McCann was unhappy with Hull’s waywardness in front of goal.
McCann, whose side have now lost back-to-back home games, said: “We are close to being a very good team, but we need to take our chances.
“We had a very good chance at 1-1 when we were in the ascendancy. That was a big moment in the game.
“Second half, there was only one team that was going to win it – and that was us.
“We need to score when we were on top – goals change games.”
McCann added: ”We’ve lost three games already this season and that’s not good enough – the boys know that.
“To concede two like that was disappointing – the two goals were naive from us as we just didn’t defend the crosses and react quick enough.
“We’ve got firm belief about the way we play and the way we approach games.
“We’ll win more games than we lose, there’s no two ways about that.”
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