Moyes: I take responsibility
Everton boss David Moyes admitted he had to take responsibility for his side's poor form after defeat at Hull on Wednesday night.
The Merseyside club were beaten 3-2 despite a strong fightback at the KC Stadium and have now won just once in seven Premier League games. Moyes refused to respond to a rumour he might stand down after a result which left his side just four points above the bottom three, but he accepts he must turn things around.
The Scot said: "The performance was shocking and we all take responsibility for it. I've seen a few poor performances since I've been here but that will be up there with the worst of them. It is up to the players to take responsibility but I take responsibility for the players I select.
"We could be dragged into a relegation fight - particularly because of the injuries and individual performances. But I am the one who has to take responsibility for the team. I pick the team and I sign them. I'm the one who has the ultimate responsibility."
Everton were all but beaten in the first half hour of the game as Hull raced ahead with a close-range Stephen Hunt effort, an Andy Dawson free-kick and a deflected Dean Marney shot. Two errors from Kamil Zayatte - scoring an own goal and conceding a penalty which Louis Saha converted - allowed the visitors back into the game after the break but Hull held on.
Tigers on the up
Hull still remain below Everton on goal difference but the mood in their camp is now markedly different after three hugely uplifting results. Since manager Phil Brown was reported to be just one bad game away from the sack earlier this month, the Tigers have taken seven points from a possible nine.
That appears to have cemented Brown's position, at least for the short term. Brown said: "I think it was a deserved win, even though Everton scored two goals in the second half. People might have been nervous at 3-2 but I wasn't unduly worried, I thought we still had a grip on the game.
"Collectively, defensively we were very good in the first half. The second half was a different ball game and an own goal unhinges you to a certain extent. But we stuck at the task and thoroughly deserved the victory."
Hull's victory was also achieved without talisman Jimmy Bullard, who was rested ahead of Saturday's trip to Manchester City. Bullard was the catalyst for the Tigers' recent encouraging results against Stoke and West Ham but is still being managed carefully after a long injury lay-off.
Brown said: "The lad's in a new area of his rehabilitation. It was just a precautionary resting and fortunately it has worked for everybody. It now gives me a bit of a headache for Saturday, but they are the kind of headaches you want."