THE shackles were off – and Dougie Freedman could not help but be impressed by the results.
After swapping his regular 4-2-3-1 formation for a front two and giving Mark Davies and Chung-Yong Lee a roving brief in the midfield from the off, the Wanderers boss prompted a stunning start from which Hull City never recovered.
The Whites were 3-0 up inside eight minutes and though they were forced to defend hard for 20 minutes either side of the break, their new-found resilience was able to see them home comfortably in the end.
Freedman makes no guarantees that the same approach will be used against Peterborough but must be tempted to name another attacking line-up against the Championship’s bottom club tomorrow night.
“Defensively we have done very well in these last four or five games,” he said. “What has been missing has maybe been that bit of freedom.
“We made a couple of changes in the system to allow some of the players a chance to express their talent and it worked quite well.
“I’m not going to say that every week we’re going to be playing that way but it does show you what we have got.”
It was not straightforward, and after taking such a commanding early lead Wanderers were forced on to the back foot for long spells. Steve Bruce’s side started the afternoon in second place and with the second-best away record in the division.
But Freedman was pleased to say his defence once again stood up to a thorough examination, even though Robbie Brady did find a way through with one deflected free kick.
“There was a little bit of nervousness but let’s be honest, we haven’t been in that position too many times this year,” he said. “I think we did sit back a little bit too much.
“But when the ball came into our box I think we defended it very well.
“I know you’d want the clean sheet but with the way the ball gets moved around in this modern game it’s harder than ever to keep them.
“I was pleased because Hull have made a very good season out of defending their own penalty area but this was our day to do that.”