Nigel Adkins admitted his side failed to produce the quality seen of late in Saturday’s 1-0 defeat against Sheffield Wednesday.
For all the attacking prowess shown in recent weeks, the Tigers couldn’t find a way beyond a resilient Wednesday defence, barring a late effort that was ruled out for offside.
“The first ten or fifteen minutes was like a basketball game – end-to-end and far too open,” said Adkins.
“They then got the goal and it was a poor one from our point of view. We shouldn’t have allowed the cross to come in first of all, and then we’ve given Jordan Rhodes an easy header.
“That then gave Sheffield Wednesday the opportunity to sit on the edge of their own box. For the next 75 minutes they had five across the back, four in front of that and it’s up to us to break them down.
“They made a great clearance just before half time when we managed to get in behind with Harry Wilson and we dominated the game in terms of getting the ball into the attacking third of the pitch, but we did it without really testing their goalkeeper.
“We scored nine goals in the week, but here we huffed and puffed and just didn’t produce that necessary quality. That’s the disappointing thing.
“We couldn’t get a tempo going in the second half and they took the sting out of the game. It was a fragmented second half, highlighted by the eight minutes of added time at the end.”
On the disallowed goal in added time, Adkins added: “I’ve watched it back. We scored a goal, the referee signals a goal, his assistant runs back towards the halfway line as they do when awarding a goal, we celebrate and then one of their players asks the referee to go and speak with the assistant.
“They had that conversation and disallowed the goal for offside. I think they’re saying that both Abel Hernandez and Jarrod Bowen were offside. It doesn’t matter whether I agree or disagree – it’s given as offside and we lost the game.”