Soccer

Liam Rosenior challenges Aaron Connolly to maintain good form after Hull draw

Liam Rosenior’s Hull secured a point (Nigel French/PA)
Liam Rosenior’s Hull secured a point (Nigel French/PA) Liam Rosenior’s Hull secured a point (Nigel French/PA)

Head coach Liam Rosenior challenged Aaron Connolly to maintain his promising early-season form after his equaliser earned Hull a late 1-1 draw at home to Coventry.

The visitors looked in control after Joel Latibeaudiere headed home in the first half.

But Republic of Ireland international Connolly had the final word with an enterprising header with three minutes remaining – his fourth goal of the new campaign.

Rosenior said: “Aaron’s capable of anything he wants in his career, if he stays on track.

“He’s not 100 per cent fit, which is scary.

“He’s a leader in the dressing room. He’s a massive influence and has really taken Liam Delap under his wing.

“Some of his runs and some of his movement are top level. He knows when he needs a rocket but he knows I love him as I’ve known him since he was 15.”

Hull, who have now lost once in 15 league games at home, appeared in trouble following a poor first half.

They continually gave away possession and were punished when unmarked defender Latibeaudiere headed home Josh Eccles’ near-post corner after 27 minutes.

Coventry, despite having to soak up plenty of pressure after the restart, rarely looked troubled in a fascinating game between two well-matched sides.

But Connolly was a constant threat and he equalised after 87 minutes with an artful, glancing back-header off substitute Tyler Morton’s lofted cross from the right.

Rosenior said: “I thought first half they had a bit of the upper hand.

“They’re a good side. I live 200 yards away from Mark (Robins) – he’s been really good to me in my coaching career – and they’re going to be up there at the end of the season.

“But for us to dominate in the second half like that, I’m proud of my players.

“To go a goal down and come back, I couldn’t be happier.

“I want to build a squad. We’re going to need that through the season so I’m going to have to be really smart with my team selections.

“I thought Tyler was magnificent when he came on and showed exactly why we worked so hard to get him to the club from Liverpool.”

Coventry manager Mark Robins accepted that a draw was a fair result.

He said: “I thought it was a really good game between two good teams.

“Both teams asked questions of each other through the game and we took a deserved lead.

“There were some really good performances from us, but it was disappointing to get our noses in front and then to have chances to score again.

“On balance, though, it was probably a fair result.

“Every time you come away and you get something, you think, ‘It’s a good point’, but it’s tinged with disappointment because of the timing of their goal.”

Robins added: “Their substitutions were good and had a bigger impact than ours.

“With the timing of the goal and the nature of the goal – it was really poor from our perspective, was disappointing.

“But the weight (possession) of the ball that they had – that keeps the crowd interested – we ended up dropping deeper and made silly decisions.

“It was a really good, hard-fought game, but, on balance, I probably think it was a fair result.”