Hernandez-inspired Hull eye safety after thumping 'Boro

Ahmed Elmohamady Steve Agnew one of the best coaches I’ve worked with

Caretaker manager Steve Agnew is eager to find the right balance between attack and defence for Middlesbrough after the club slipped seven points from Premier League safety following Wednesday's 4-2 loss at fellow strugglers Hull City.

Hull thought they had drawn first blood, but Niasse was deemed offside when he turned the ball home at the end of a slick move in the third minute and the first blow was landed by Boro two minutes later.

Since then, the Tigers have hauled themselves up into 17th place, two points above the dotted line o' doom, having lost just four league matches - all of which were away from home against Chelsea, Arsenal, Everton and a freshly resurgent Leicester.

Middlesbrough took the lead through Alvaro Negredo in the fifth minute, before Hull scored three in the opening 45 minutes.

The fun and games started nearly straight away, Oumar Niasse putting the ball in the visitors' net inside three minutes only to be rightly ruled offside.

First, Lazar Markovic, a threat all night, pounced to fire in the equaliser from close range after Abel Hernandez had been unable to convert a deflected looping cross from Andrew Robertson.

Hernandez side-footed a free-kick from the edge of the area narrowly wide, but Hull completed the turnaround in the 27th minute.

Alfred N'Diaye hooked the ball forward and Hernandez's headed pass fell invitingly to Niasse, who buried his shot under Boro goalkeeper Victor Valdes from 12 yards.

Middlesbrough looked to respond with the pace of Traore causing problems and Eldin Jakupovic had to be alert when the 'Boro man crossed for Negredo, who saw his first time effort saved by the keeper.

Only the reflexes of Jakupovic prevented Boro from quickly halving the deficit as he tipped Rudy Gestede's far-post header onto the crossbar. Adam Clayton's corner was nodded on by Ben Gibson and with both De Roon and Traore clearly offside, the former headed home. Grosicki popped up on the right wing to collect a fine pass from Harry Maguire and deliver a attractive ball across the face of goal to Hernandez who did the rest at the far post.

After the Tigers got their fourth goal, they sought to slow the game down to ensure their victory.

The sting had been taken out of the game and six points had been bagged from two huge home games in the space of a few days.

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