Dawson calls on Hull fans to rally behind players
Hull defender Andy Dawson has called on supporters to get fully behind the team in their quest to turn around their season. Fans' frustration was clearly evident as the Tigers laboured to a goalless draw with fellow strugglers Portsmouth in a turgid Premier League tussle at the KC Stadium yesterday.The result left both sides in the bottom three, and boos rang out from the hom crowd at the final whistle - while manager Phil Brown had been the subject of earlier jibes.
Hull made a blistering start to life in the top flight last year - 12 months ago they were briefly joint top - but fans have seen little to enthuse them since, with just three Premier League wins in 2009. Dawson can understand their feelings but wants them to channel their support positively.
The 31-year-old said: ''I think the atmosphere around the stadium is maybe getting to everyone. We know we have got to play better and create more chances. We know we have to improve - the players have to give 110%, and everyone's got to get behind us. That's the only way we're going to do it. There were a few boos, and you can feel the frustration sometimes. Obviously we are not playing the flowing football people like to see. But we are trying and we need everybody behind us to get out of the situation we are in.''
Both teams lacked inspiration, but it was bottom side Pompey who had the better of the few chances. In a short spell just after the hour, Aruna Dindane - anxious to make amends after a glaring double miss against Tottenham last week - was denied by Boaz Myhill and had a shot blocked by team-mate Younes Kaboul. Hassan Yebda also forced Myhill to save at the end of a good move.
Hull have just eight points from their 10 games, but Dawson can still see 'positives'. He said: ''We've just played a Premier League side - three years ago we were bottom of the Championship. I watched their game last week - they could have beaten Spurs quite comfortably.
''We've kept a clean sheet and got another point on board, even though we didn't play fantastically well. With the situation and atmosphere around, everyone's maybe expecting us to get three points. But all we can do is try to improve, and the clean sheet is massive - we haven't had enough of them. We've got to build on that now, going to Burnley next week.''
Pompey, who are four points worse off, continue to display a spirit not typical of a team bottom of the table. Yet their luck does not appear to be turning significantly, and off-field turmoil continues to overshadow the efforts of manager Paul Hart. Nevertheless, goalkeeper David James felt the visitors - who were watched by newly-installed director of football Avram Grant - could return south the happier of the two teams.
''We had chances,'' said the England international. ''I thought we defended well, and conditions were testing. It was very wet. It was not necessarily the best advert for Premier League football. But we got a point - and considering they are one of our rivals down the bottom, it was important not to lose.
''We have got to be happy with that, despite the fact we didn't win. We haven't played with the same flair we have in most of the last five games but we still created opportunities. There comes a point when we are going to have to put them away. But fortunately it wasn't costly, in that we didn't lose.''