Hull boss Liam Rosenior saw Daniel Bachmann dent the Tigers’ play-off hopes – then heaped praise on the Watford keeper after the 0-0 draw at Vicarage Road.

Bachmann saved Ozan Tufan’s 11th-minute penalty to rob City of vital points in their push for the top six.

Rosenior spared Tufan any criticism for the miss, insisting Bachmann deserved all the credit for keeping City at bay.

The manager said: “Their keeper was magnificent. You just have to hold your hands up. There was the penalty stop and three or four other world-class saves.

“But no blame on Ozan. He’s been brilliant all season. He’s brave and he will take the next penalty.

“I was pleased with the response of the whole group after that. We never gave up until the final whistle. I can’t fault this group – I’m so proud of them.

“The players worked themselves into the ground and never gave up. They’re a credit to this club and a credit to the shirt.”

Hull continue their quest for the top six on Wednesday away to FA Cup semi-finalists Coventry.

They lie six points behind sixth-placed Norwich having played a game less and Rosenior added: “Norwich dropped points today and they will be as flat as we are.”

Turkish forward Tufan, rejected by Watford in 2022 after a loan spell, faced a barrage of abuse as he prepared to take the kick in front of the home end.

Watford’s defenders also encroached as they complained that the ball was not on the spot.

But Austrian stopper Bachmann remained calm and dived low to his left to save.

Watford interim boss Tom Cleverley, beaten just once in his seven games in charge, restored Bachmann to the team when he took over last month.

He said: “I don’t know how much homework has gone into that or whether Dan dived into the archives of penalties against us, but it was a fantastic save.

“He showed his real worth today. I knew his worth from playing alongside him for all those years – not only on the pitch but in the dressing room.

“He’s massive for me. He’s come in for some unfair criticism but we have full belief in him and we know how important he is to the squad.”

But Cleverley was not happy with a Watford performance that saw the Hornets fail to get a shot on target in the first 60 minutes.

They have not won at home in the league since November 28 – 12 matches – and Cleverley said: “We were flat for an hour. We need to make things happen, not wait for them to happen.

“I must change the mentality. From the first minute we must grab the game by the scruff of the neck.

“But we’ve played five of the top seven and we’ve made them all work hard to get points off us.”

Manager Marti Cifuentes called for cool heads after QPR suffered a damaging 3-0 defeat at Hull.

Rangers are three points clear of the Sky Bet Championship relegation zone and were outclassed by the Tigers, who still have a slim chance of making the play-offs.

Goals from Ozan Tufan and Fabio Carvalho earned Hull a deserved lead at the break, after which Jaden Philogene added gloss to the scoreline in the second half.

Cifuentes said: “I was really disappointed with the result. We played against a very good team and they showed their quality after we made a good start to the game.

“I am now not thinking about the narrative of this game – now it is time to move on.

“Now is the time to stay calm. We have three games to go – two of them at home – so it is up to us.

“I have been saying it (safety) could be (decided) until the last minute of the season.

“Five months ago, perhaps even one month ago, we could only dream (to be 19th in the table).

“People thought this would be a walk in the park but that is not the case.

“It’s up to us. We need to remain together and keep pushing.”

QPR’s away form has been strong since Cifuentes arrived at the club, but they were unable to match Hull’s tempo from the outset.

Tufan’s brilliant strike from distance after eight minutes set the tone of a one-sided game.

The Turkey international’s smart assist after then allowed Carvalho the chance to convert a smart one-on-one – and essentially put the game out of sight after 27 minutes.

Rangers improved marginally after the restart but they could never lay a glove on the hosts and conceded a third when Philogene executed a perfect half-volley from the left of the penalty area.

Cifuentes said: “The main difference was that, in some moments, they were better than us in front of goal.

“We have three games to go, and we have to keep working.

“Despite creating a lot of chances, we are not scoring and, instead, we are getting punished because of small mistakes.

“The guys have showed a big development in the last four months.

“I see a team still competing and not giving up, even when we were 3-0 down.

“We now have an important game against Preston next Saturday and it is time to move on.”

Hull’s home form has been the big issue this season – they have won just eight times at the MKM Stadium – but they are six points adrift of sixth-placed Norwich with a game in hand.

Head coach Liam Rosenior said: “Our performance level was not dissimilar to Middlesbrough (a 1-1 draw on Wednesday).

“But the difference was in both boxes. We were clinical and ruthless and the players showed their quality.

“We dominated the game, controlled the game – some of our football was excellent.

“That’s what I’ve been working so hard to do since I re-joined the cub.

“We were very, very good. If we play at the level for the next four games we are going to be a very, very difficult side to play against.”

Rosenior added: “Some of our interlinking play now is a joy to watch.

“The players I have in the attacking positions are in form and that needs to continue.

“There are still things to iron out – we still need things to improve – but we’ve got to win the next game.

“That’s all we are focussed on doing. We’re in a good place. We have to focus on what we can do.

“We just need to make sure that if there are any slip-ups, we are there to pounce.”

Hull kept alive their faint chances of reaching the Sky Bet Championship play-offs with a 3-0 win over QPR, who remain in deep relegation trouble.

Ozan Tufan’s wonderful solo effort from 20 yards and Fabio Carvalho’s cool one-on-one finish put the Tigers in control at the break.

Jaden Philogene then put the seal on a dominating home performance with a sweet half-volley after 52 minutes.

Hull, who were claiming just an eighth home victory of the season, are six points adrift of sixth-place Norwich – but with a game in hand.

QPR also have work to do, but for far differing reasons as they are now two points clear of the relegation zone.

With just one away league defeat since December 29, it was unsurprising that Marti Cifuentes’ men were quickly into the stride against a Hull side who have this season been hamstrung by their form at the MKM Stadium.

The visitors’ early vigour was, however, soon curtained when Tufan scored after eight minutes.

The Turkey international was firstly given too much space by Jimmy Dunne near the left-hand corner of the penalty area.

Dunne also seemed complacent to the danger when Tufan cut inside before striking fiercely with his right boot.

The ball screwed over the head of Asmir Begovic, battered the underside of the crossbar and landed into the top-right corner of the net.

QPR looked shell-shocked and never recovered.

And they might have gone further behind soon afterwards had Philogene and Carvalho not been guilty of poor decision-making in good areas.

Carvalho, though, impressively made amends after 27 minutes with a lovely second goal.

Tufan again played a key role with a cute first-time pass around the corner that outfoxed centre-backs Steve Cook and Jake Clarke-Salter.

Carvalho controlled beautifully and never looked like missing from the edge of the penalty box once Begovic came rushing too far off his line.

QPR brought on Reggie Cannon and Paul Smyth at the break, and the double substitution nearly yielded immediate dividends when the latter somehow headed wide Illias Chair’s cross from close range.

But Rangers’ slim hopes of getting back into the game sailed into the River Humber when Philogene scored another excellent goal once Tufan’s free-kick was partially headed clear by Sam Field.

The former Aston Villa winger, 10 yards out toward the left of box, showed laudable composure to cushion a textbook half-volley into the right of the goal.

QPR might have added a consolation soon afterwards when Jacob Graves cleared off Hull’s line after Chair waltzed past two defends and goalkeeper Ryan Allsop.

Yet that was as good as it got for Rangers, who will need to improve markedly to avoid a nervous end to the season.

Hull, who nearly scored a fourth when substitute Liam Delap’s 76th-minute lob was headed off the line by Cannon, could also be set for a dramatic finish to the campaign on this evidence.

Hull boss Liam Rosenior and Middlesbrough counterpart Michael Carrick are both adamant a top-six finish in the Championship remains within reach despite denting each other’s hopes.

An entertaining 2-2 draw between the sides at the MKM Stadium on Wednesday left them both six points adrift of the play-off spots, with Middlesbrough in ninth, one place ahead of Hull.

But with Hull having five matches of the campaign to play and sixth-placed Norwich and Boro both having four, Rosenior was refusing to draw a line through his side’s season.

“We need to take it to the wire and we have an opportunity to take it to the last day,” Rosenior said. “As we know anything can happen on the last day. Norwich have got tough games, we’ve got tough games.”

Rosenior, though, rued Hull’s inability to take three points despite outplaying for Middlesbrough for large spells after falling behind to Emmanuel Latte Lath’s sixth goal in his last eight matches.

Hull got on top and were well worth a leveller through Jaden Philogene’s cross-cum-shot while Seny Dieng then played Lewis O’Brien into trouble, which allowed Jean Michael Seri to steal in and put the Tigers deservedly ahead before half-time.

While Hull had opportunities to extend their lead, Boro had the final say as a swift break was finished by Finn Azaz, whose 71st-minute strike deflected off Alfie Jones before nestling in the net.

Rosenior added: “It’s the same story, I’m really proud of 99.9 per cent of the stuff we do but we just don’t take advantage and then we shoot ourselves in the foot.

“It’s what could end up – I’m not saying has done – costing us something that is so attainable with this group. That’s the painful thing at the moment for the lads and everyone involved in the club.

“We can see the potential is there but potential is nothing, you have to turn it into results. If we consistently play at that level for the next five games, we’ll come really close.

“We have to be perfect. I don’t mean by winning five games, I mean by managing moments. We have an outstanding football team at this level but we consistently haven’t taken advantage of the moments.”

Despite Middlesbrough walking away with just one point, Carrick was incredulous when asked if he and his side are still optimistic of finishing sixth or higher.

He said: “You’re kidding, aren’t you? Of course we are. One hundred per cent. It’s pretty obvious we’ve got to win the next game. Nothing’s changed from before this game.

“Norwich took a point (in a 2-2 draw against Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday), us and Hull have taken a point. There are games to play.

“Anything can happen in this league so there’s no way we’re giving up on anything just yet.”

v’s deflected second-half goal helped Middlesbrough claim a 2-2 draw at Hull but a point apiece does little to boost either side’s Sky Bet Championship play-off hopes.

Emmanuel Latte Lath followed up a brace in Boro’s 2-0 win over Swansea on Saturday with an early goal at the MKM Stadium but Jaden Philogene’s cross-cum-shot drew Hull level just before the half hour.

Middlesbrough goalkeeper Seny Dieng played Lewis O’Brien into trouble which allowed Jean Michael Seri to put the Tigers deservedly in the lead ahead of half-time but Azaz had the final say, albeit after his strike took a crucial final touch off Alfie Jones before nestling in the goal.

Both teams sit six points adrift of sixth-placed Norwich with Middlesbrough in ninth, one place ahead of Hull, who have a game in hand over their two rivals.

This was a missed opportunity for both sides, even if Middlesbrough extended their unbeaten run to eight matches and it was the visitors who stormed out of the traps after kick-off was delayed by a quarter of an hour due to heavy traffic in the area.

Hull’s defenders were caught on their heels and paid their price as Latte Lath bagged his sixth goal in his last eight matches.

Having taken six minutes to score in the reverse fixture, which Boro lost 2-1 in December, Latte Lath needed just four this time after stealing in behind a high line and steering beyond Ryan Allsop from an acute angle.

Hull gradually warmed to their task and were unfortunate Abdus Omur slipped at the vital moment in front of goal as his miskick sailed wide while Jacob Greaves’ header was clawed away by Dieng as Middlesbrough were hemmed into their own half.

Hull’s persistence was rewarded as the influential Philogene delivered a teasing ball that seemed to elude Ozan Tufan at the back post before sailing into the net.

While Hull awarded the 29th-minute goal to a celebrating Tufan, it was officially given to Philogene.

Luke Ayling headed off his line following Omur’s chip as Hull continued to pour forward but they were given a helping hand four minutes before half-time.

Dieng’s attempt to play out from the back backfired spectacularly as Seri nudged O’Brien off the ball on the edge of his own area before lashing into the top corner.

Despite being outplayed for most of the first half, Middlesbrough might have drawn level at the start of the second as Jonny Howson’s thunderous effort was palmed by Allsop into the path of Latte Lath, who got into a tangle and could not slot in the rebound.

Howson at the other end made a desperate intervention to block Seri’s goal-bound effort while Regan Slater drilled across the face of goal and wide as Hull looked to give themselves some breathing room.

Their inability to do so came back to haunt them as they were hit on the break in the 71st minute.

Azaz exchanged passes with Isaiah Jones before bearing down on goal and his shot ricocheted off Jones and over Allsop as Middlesbrough drew level.

Omur might have nicked victory for Hull in the closing stages after springing the offside trap and going clean through but he was denied by the legs of Dieng.

Hull head coach Liam Rosenior admitted his side’s 3-1 success at Cardiff was a “massive win” at a crucial stage of the Sky Bet Championship season.

The Tigers returned to winning ways after going six games without a victory thanks to two goals by on-loan Liverpool striker Fabio Carvalho and Jaden Philogene’s second-half strike against his former team.

Victory saw Hull climb one place to ninth and they remain six points off the play-off places.

Rosenior said: “At this stage of the season this is a massive win. The pressure was on after recent results and we’ve been written off by some but we dominated this game.

“It was a really professional performance with the way we managed the game and took our goals but what was really pleasing was the way the players responded to them scoring.

“The goal came out of the blue but the effort, spirit and quality the players showed was excellent.

“We could have probably scored more. The pleasing thing is that we’re always creating chances but I told the players at half-time that we’ve been in that position before and this time we needed to see it out.

“I felt that we were coming into a good period after the performance at Leeds and we did that against a good side that just won at Coventry and were a big and physical team. When the teams came out onto the pitch it looked like lads against dads but our players have big hearts and work for each other.

“We’ve got a game in hand and if we win that then we’re only three points off the play-offs and there nothing in it. There are going to be plenty of twists and turns along the way because this league is so tough but we’re still in there.”

Cardiff briefly rallied when Karlan Grant pulled a goal out of the blue in the 57th minute only for Philogene to strike two minutes later.

The Bluebirds kicked off just one place behind Hull in the standings but are now treading water in 11th place having lost three of their last four games.

Manager Erol Bulut said: “We wasted the first half. This is not how we trained. When you don’t press well and the opponent is a good passing team, they can come out of this pressure.

“From the corner they scored the first goal, which can happen, but how we conceded the second goal was not good. We were too far away from the opponent, not aggressive enough.

“The second half was much better. We came back with the goal but then there was a misunderstanding between (Joe) Ralls and Nat (Phillips) while I was speaking to Nat and they scored.”

Liam Rosenior admitted his shot-shy Hull players need to learn how to win when they do not play well.

The Tigers failed to produce a shot on target against a Stoke side who eased their Championship relegation fears with a 2-0 away win courtesy of goals from Josh Laurent and Ki-Jana Hoever.

Defeat dropped Hull two places to ninth in the table as the Potters moved five points clear of the drop zone.

Rosenior said: “There are games in the Championship when some teams have an off day, but they find a way to win. We have to find a way to win when we don’t play well.

“When you don’t play to your level you have to keep the back door shut and nick the win. We found a way to lose today.

“Some of our decision making in the final third, we showed such a lack of killer instinct. We didn’t have a shot on target. We got let down in both boxes which is really disappointing.

“I think the fans were great. Today we didn’t give the fans enough to shout about. It was brilliant to see a full house, but we didn’t give them enough to get behind.”

A first half devoid of chances saw one effort on target and it took until well into the second period before the deadlock was finally broken from a corner.

Ryan Mmaee headed towards the left post where an unmarked Laurent side-footed home from close range with 21 minutes to go.

The game was well into four minutes of stoppage time when Hoever sealed the victory for the visitors.

Stoke head coach Steven Schumacher praised a team performance which saw his side control the game.

He said: “I thought we played well, I thought we were the better team from the first whistle.

“In the first half, our performance was excellent, and we just lacked a goal. In the second half we had to weather the storm for the first 10 minutes. The lads were nice and calm and stuck to the plan.

“We’ve got a big squad so I can’t pick everyone every week. We felt in the last four games we had played well in three of them and not in the last one.

“Over the international break we had conversations with a few of the lads who started today, and we said it was up to them to come into the team and play well.”

Laurent got his first league goal of the season and Schumacher praised the forward who showed composure following a first-half yellow card.

“He had to use his brains because he was closing down and putting people under pressure,” Schumacher said.

“It was a captain’s performance. He was in the right place at the right time to get his goal.

“That’s three wins in five which is good for a team in the bottom half of the table. Showing some consistency is key now.”

Enzo Maresca saluted the character of his side after Leicester battled back to earn a 2-2 at Hull.

Jamie Vardy scored a brace as the Sky Bet Championship league leaders twice came from behind to earn a valuable point at the MKM Stadium.

Maresca – whose side are now three points clear of second-placed Leeds – said: “It was a tough game, as we expected.

“They are a very good team and their four players up front are very quick and very technical.

“The game for me was a good game. They pressed man-to-man and we had to do that, too.

“Sometimes when you can’t win, you take a point by trying and trying – and we did that.

“We conceded a goal but the reaction was there. We conceded a second one and the reaction was there.

“We could have done many things better, but I think the character was there and that was important.”

As has been a hallmark of their season, Leicester had to dig in to get something from a fine game of football.

Fabio Carvalho opened the scoring on16 minutes after Wout Faes carelessly lost possession on the edge of the penalty box.

Carvalho did well to maintain composure and atone for his earlier penalty miss after Stephy Mavididi ended Regan Slater’s power-packed run inside the area.

Vardy equalised from the spot after 31 minutes when Jean Michael Seri was controversially adjudged to have upended Abdul Fatawu.

A finely balanced second half swung the way of the hosts on 61 minutes after Annas Zaroury’s lovely left-footed hit arrowed into the bottom-right corner.

But Hull’s celebrations lasted just two minutes as Vardy added a second when he sharply controlled Fatawu’s perfect pass before flighting the ball into the roof of the net.

Maresca said: “I was very happy with the reaction. Sometimes it’s important you see the reaction, and we saw that.

“You have to adapt. We made some mistakes but, overall, we continued to try until the end.

“What they (his players) have done is not normal and when we had nine points more (at the top of the league) it was not normal.

“We are very happy where we are and we still have nine games to go.”

On Vardy, Maresca added: “He has the most important thing in football, which is to score goals.

“We have to manage him because of his age. For sure, he’s going to help us until the end.”

Hull are unbeaten in seven but they have drawn their last three league games and have been replaced by Norwich in the top six.

Head coach Liam Rosenior said: “That performance is going to stand us in good stead.

“I slept well last night because I know what this team are about. We did it our way against an outstanding team.

“There were a lot pleasing aspects. We let ourselves down with momentary lapses of concentration, but our players are young.

“We make naïve decisions at time but in our naivety there’s a fearlessness and bravery to our game.

“We need to peak now. The players are showing me that they are learning and improving.

“If they can keep doing that we will get to where we want to be.”

Rosenior added: “We have gone up against an outstanding team at this level so I’m delighted.

“If you look how the team and the club has grown in the last 18 months, I’m so excited and proud to be part of his process.

“We’re all in this together and that was an outstanding afternoon for the football club.

“It’s a points accumulation, but these players are showing me they are improving all the time.

“We should have won the game from our performance – I just need to nudge them two or three more per cent and then we’ll get there.”

Leicester are three points clear of Leeds at the top of the Sky Bet Championship after Jamie Vardy’s double earned his side a 2-2 draw at play-off chasing Hull.

Enzo Maresca’s men had to work hard against the Tigers and fell behind when Fabio Carvalho, who had earlier missed from the penalty spot, scored after 16 minutes.

But Leicester showed plenty of resolve and equalised through Vardy’s contentious penalty after 31 minutes.

Hull again nudged in front when Annas Zaroury let fly from the edge of the penalty box on 61 minutes, but Vardy scored a trademark second just two minutes later to secure the Foxes an important point.

Having ended a three-match losing run with victory at Sunderland on Tuesday, Leicester supporters might have expected their side to kick on at the MKM Stadium.

But they were surprisingly placid in the first half and should have conceded after just six minutes.

Regan Slater’s lung-busting run from deep caught the visitors unawares, with Stephy Mavididi nudging the Hull midfielder off his stride inside the penalty area.

Referee Samuel Barrott awarded a penalty, but Carvalho’s spot-kick was complacent, and Mats Hermansen impressively stood his ground.

Hull’s promising start was rewarded soon afterwards, though, as Carvalho atoned for his penalty miss with a fine goal.

Wout Faes conceded possession in an awful area, though Hamza Choudhury did the Leicester defender few favours with a rash pass.

The Liverpool loan signing had lots of work to do, but Carvalho was direct and brave before striking low under Hermansen, who perhaps went to ground too early.

Leicester needed a spark, which arrived after 20 minutes.

Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall’s strike from the edge of the box was not especially pleasing on the eye, but it squirmed from the reach of Ryan Allsop and on to the base of the left post.

Dewsbury-Hall’s attempt served notice of Leicester’s growing influence upon the game, which was finally balanced at the break after Vardy scored from the spot.

Jean Michael Seri was adjudged by Barrott to have fouled Abdul Fatawu, who went over rather too easily.

Vardy made no mistake with a neat penalty into the right corner.

Leicester improved thereafter, but they were far from at their best and again fell behind when Zaroury expertly powered home with his left foot from the edge of the box.

But with celebrating home fans still returning to their seats, Vardy scored again.

Fatawu’s smart pass from the right cut bisected Hull centre-backs Jacob Greaves and Alfie Jones to find an onrushing Vardy in his favourite position.

After having put Allsop on his backside with his first touch, the former England international artfully switched onto his right before smashing the ball into an unguarded net.

Neutrals anticipating a grandstand finale were left disappointed as both sides cancelled one another out during a tactical final half-hour in which Leicester finished strongly but did not do enough to win an absorbing game of football.

Mark Venus hopes Birmingham’s 1-1 draw at play-off-chasing Hull can act as “a springboard” in their battle against relegation.

Substitute Lukas Jutkiewicz’s late header cancelled out Ozan Tufan’s first-half goal to move Blues one point clear of the Sky Bet Championship drop zone.

Venus, still assisting for the unwell Tony Mowbray, said: “Hull are a very good team and they are, of course, not in the top six after 35 games for no good reason.

“But we stuck at it and kept going, which was great to see.

“They obviously had a lot of possession, which we expected, but we also caused them a few problems and I felt we deserved a point in the end.

“This now has to be a springboard for the rest of the season.”

Birmingham looked in big trouble when Tufan scored at the back post on 25 minutes after Fabio Carvalho’s corner was flicked on by Jacob Greaves.

Tufan’s final touch appeared to come off his left hand but the goal was given.

The Turkey international nearly doubled Hull’s lead after 40 minutes when his strike from distance was expertly pawed on to the left post by John Ruddy.

The hosts dominated for most of the second half, but they were obsessed by trying to score a perfect second goal when a more direct approach could have put the game out of sight.

And they were punished after 82 minutes when substitute Alex Pritchard sent over a lovely cross that was powerfully headed home by Jutkiewicz.

Venus said: “It (Tuzan’s goal) looks handball to me, but maybe the officials were not in a position to give it.

“I just feel, at the moment, that things are going a little bit against us in terms of decisions, but hopefully we can get a few more in our favour going forwards for the rest of the season.

“We’ve had some really tough fixtures that have stretched us to the limit so to come here and get something, in a game that teams in Hull’s position usually win, was great.

“We have to build on this now and move forwards, but we need everybody with us as we’ve got a big task ahead.”

Hull are unbeaten in six and remain in the play-offs, but head coach Liam Rosenior was unhappy that his players could not convert their superiority into more goals.

He said: “Some of the control, some of the areas we get into and the dominance – and we come away with a point? I’m very angry and frustrated.

“I keep saying the same things, but this has to be the last time I say them.

“We have to be more ruthless and we have to take advantage of our dominance.

“They didn’t have a sniff and we’ve just thrown away another two points – when Jutkiewicz came on we should have been 3-0 up.

The reason we play this way is to score, dominate and take the game away from the opposition – we have to grow up and understand where we are.”

Rosenior added: “The one-touch stuff is great but we’re here to score goals.

“This is on me – I’d never criticise individuals –but for us to get to where we want to be we have to all take responsibility.

“I’d say 95 per cent of our performance was magnificent but we didn’t finish it off and that’s the bit that makes the different in football.

“I love this group, but time is going to pass us by if we don’t learn lessons.

“Everyone can see the potential of this team, but we have turn the potential into reality.”

Birmingham secured an important point in their battle against relegation with a hard-earned 1-1 draw at play-off contenders Hull.

Ozan Tufan looked to have consigned Blues to a 13th away defeat when he headed home in the first half.

But Hull, still in the Sky Bet Championship play-offs and now unbeaten in six, were sloppy in front of goal and could not score the second which their dominance arguably warranted.

They were punished after 82 minutes through Lukas Jutkiewicz’s firm header which moved Birmingham, still without unwell manager Tony Mowbray, a point above the drop zone.

With the visitors clearly short of confidence – only Rotherham have a weaker Championship away record – Liam Rosenior’s men were, unsurprisingly, keen to seize control early on.

Fabio Carvalho’s smart hit was sharply deflected for a corner by Emanuel Aiwu, after which Jean Michael Seri warmed John Ruddy’s palms from distance on seven minutes.

But just when it felt like Hull would kick on, Birmingham came desperately close to opening the scoring just 60 seconds later.

Junior Bacuna too easily beat Ryan Giles on the right before crossing hard and low towards the near post.

Hull centre-back Jacob Greaves looked to have snubbed out the threat, but his sliding defensive block skewed inches wide of the right post.

The hosts were fleetingly knocked off their stride following that let-off, but they always looked a threat in possession and gradually retained a strong foothold into the game.

Mark Venus, however, will still have been most disappointed by the manner in which Blues conceded after 25 minutes.

Abdulkadir Omur’s fierce corner was flicked on by Greaves towards the far post, but Tufan was still given too much space to head home.

Turkey international Tufan came close to adding a second after 40 minutes when he let rip from the edge of penalty area following good work from Jaden Philogene.

The ball bounced awkwardly but Ruddy did brilliantly to palm the ball onto the base of the left post, with Carvalho a stud’s length away from scoring on the follow-up.

Hull largely bossed proceedings after the restart, but they were often guilty of overcomplicated build-up play when a direct approach would have been more beneficial.

No better was this illustrated than after 73 minutes when Philogene cashed in on a defensive mix-up but tried to score the perfect goal when a simple strike would have had Ruddy in big trouble.

But with Hull goalkeeper Ryan Allsop a virtual bystander, few inside the MKM Stadium would have bet against a home win.

That was until substitute Alex Pritchard whipped over a teasing cross from the right, with Jutkiewicz heading home from close range to earn Birmingham what could prove to be a huge point.

Ryan Lowe felt his Preston side were denied a clear penalty as they were held to a 0-0 draw at home by fellow play-off hopefuls Hull at Deepdale.

In a Sky Bet Championship game that did not help either side’s promotion ambitions, Lowe was adamant that his team should have been awarded a spot-kick early in the second half for a pull on Will Keane as he looked to pounce following Ryan Allsop’s save from Emil Riis.

It was not given, and while Preston had the better of the chances, they had to settle for just a point in their bid for a place in the top-six.

Lowe said: “I thought we deserved a penalty, a decision has gone against us that has probably not seen us take all three points. Unfortunately for us it hasn’t been given, but it’s a penalty.

“Will Keane has been pulled back and Keano’s been pulled right around, but maybe the referee is used to reffing in the Premier League…he’s used to someone speaking in his ear, stop and then decide what to do.

“I don’t know, but the fact of the matter is that 11 decisions have gone against us this season and three for us.

“It’s become a little bit of a concern, because if it goes into 14-15, then it’s costing us points.”

He added: “I thought we were excellent, with and without the ball. I think we kept their front three quiet, I thought our defenders were immense.

“There was only one team on the front foot trying to win the game of football and that was us.”

Ben Whiteman had a couple of early chances for Preston but did not overly trouble Allsop, while Freddie Woodman had to be alert in goal at the other end to deny Fabio Carvalho.

Preston threatened early in the second half, Andrew Hughes heading over and Whiteman seeing a shot deflected wide, before Riis’ attempt and the contentious follow-up.

At the other end, Jaden Philogene was somehow denied by Woodman while Allsop produced some late heroics to earn the visitors a point, to the delight of boss Liam Rosenior.

He said: “It was a hard-fought, physical, winter battle.

“I’m delighted with the players’ attitude, but I felt if we’d have had a little bit more calmness in our play, which is hard to do when you come away from home, then we would have come away with a win.

“I thought the players stood up really, really well to the challenge, but obviously I’m disappointed not to win the game.

“There’s a lot on the line, we have to remember Preston are in great form. You could sense in the stadium the energy of the team and what a big game it was for them to push up to us.

“I felt after the first 10 minutes we played our football and we controlled the game and looked like a real threat. But we just couldn’t get the goal and that’s a real shame.

“The game plan was to make it our game, we worked all week on trying to stop balls coming into our box, but then trying to control the game by making it our game.

“It’s a brave thing I’m asking the players to do. We made mistakes, but we just couldn’t get the goal our play deserved.”

Play-off hopefuls Preston and Hull drew a frustrating blank with a 0-0 draw at Deepdale that did neither club any favours.

Preston boss Ryan Lowe knew victory for the ambitious Lilywhites would see them go level with the Tigers in the Sky Bet Championship table.

However, neither team could create the one piece of magic needed for a precious three points.

Lowe stuck with the same side which dazzled with an impressive 3-0 away win over Coventry.

His team had rediscovered the rich vein of form which saw them make a flying start to the season, although they had failed to score in their past three matches with the Tigers.

However, Lowe’s battlers created enough opportunities to score and stretched their healthy unbeaten run to seven matches, even though they failed to find the back of the net.

Meanwhile, Liam Rosenior’s side extended their unbeaten own run to five games, staying sixth in the table.

Midfielder Ben Whiteman went close for the hosts early on, slicing wide of the target from a good position. Moments later he had another crack, only to fail to get any power his strike as Hull goalkeeper Ryan Allsop saved easily.

Lewie Coyle volleyed wide with a powerful effort for the visitors, before Fabio Carvalho tried his luck from distance with a stinging drive which Preston shot-stopper Freddie Woodman did well to parry away.

Anass Zaroury saw his goalbound shot deflected just wide as Hull went close to breaking the deadlock just before the break.

Carvalho had a great chance a minute later to do just that, but he headed straight at a thankful Woodman.

Liam Miller picked out Jordan Storey with a pinpoint cross on the stroke of half-time, but he headed over for the hosts.

Preston defender Andrew Hughes headed over soon after the restart and Whiteman had a shot deflected narrowly wide.

Striker Emil Riis was thwarted by a smart save from Allsop, while at the other end Coyle smashed a right foot shot agonisingly wide of the left upright.

Jaden Philogene thought he had bagged the opening goal but the midfielder was left bewildered after Woodman produced a fine save to deny him.

Whiteman shot wide as the hosts kept pressing and Ali McCann had a volley blocked inside the box, but the ball still would not go in.

Allsop saved brilliantly from Miller with 10 minutes left as neither side could find the breakthrough which would have yielded three points.

Carlos Corberan highlighted West Brom’s defensive resilience after fifth-placed West Brom secured a 1-1 draw at fellow promotion chasers Hull.

The Baggies looked up against it after 35 minutes when Fabio Carvalho scored an elite goal from distance that swerved into the top-left corner.

But Corberan’s men responded manfully and equalised after 43 minutes after Darnell Furlong’s header off Jed Wallace’s corner looped over Ryan Allsop.

Corberan said: “A point was the fair result for what both teams created on the pitch.

“We both had similar types of chances and a similar number of chances.

“When you don’t win the game, it’s important not to lose.

“I think that the quality of players Hull has right now made it difficult for us and we needed to concentrate in defence to get something.

“Our defence was key to getting something out of the game, but we need to improve in two key parts: don’t concede possession and create chances.”

Sixth-placed Hull had won their last three games and would have moved above West Brom in the table with victory.

But, perhaps surprisingly, the visitors were quicker into their stride and struck the crossbar after 20 minutes through Jed Wallace.

Carvalho’s dipping opener, which did goalkeeper Alex Palmer for pace and zip, therefore came as a shock to Corberan.

But the Baggies retained a healthy tempo before the restart and equalised when Furlong evaded his marker and powerfully headed home.

Both sides struck a post after the restart, but Corberan conceded that a draw was a fair result.

He said: “We tried to be aggressive and to stop them playing from the back and we did that well.

“We had some good possibilities that could have given us something else (more goals), but they had a big chance in the second half, too.

“It was important not to lose, but it was also important that the players gave everything.

“They have a lot of quality players, and Carvalho showed the danger that he has.

“In open play we were fantastic, but we still need to increase our levels of concentration.

“We are going to work even harder, keep improving and increasing the details.

“This year the competition for the play-off positions is going to be very tight. I think there are four very strong teams that have made a gap, but the key for me is to keep going and to keep improving.”

Counterpart Liam Rosenior was unhappy by the manner in which West Brom scored and challenged his players to become more streetwise in key moments.

He said: “I just want to win every game that we play, but if you can’t win, don’t lose – it doesn’t matter at what stage of the season.

“We put ourselves in a strong position against a really organised team, but these games are about fine margins.

“We are a young team but with two minutes before half-time we should have kicked the ball out into touch – and then we conceded a corner.

“That period between Fabio’s goal and their goal, we were in control of the game, but in football it is about managing moments and we didn’t do that, which was frustrating.

“We just need to learn from the mistakes, but I can’t fault players in terms of engagement, energy levels and commitment.

“If that continues, I think we’re in a really strong position.”

Rosenior added: “I love the expectation, but we have to remember where we came from.

“It’s a process, and we’re not going to get it right every week.

“We just need to keep moving in the right direction and stay calm.

“We’re in are really good spot. We need to stay consistent, stay calm and ignore the noise.

“We’ll keep playing the way we believe – this could be a really good point for us.”

West Brom remain one place above Hull in the Sky Bet Championship play-offs following their disciplined 1-1 draw at the MKM Stadium.

Liam Rosenior’s in-form side had looked on course to move up to fifth in the table when Fabio Carvalho scored a lovely swerving goal from distance after 35 minutes.

But the visitors, who are next week expected to be taken over by Floridian businessman Shilen Patel, deservedly equalised before the break through Darnell Furlong’s downwards header.

Neither side had the artillery to force a winner – though Rosenior and West Brom manager Carlos Corberan might both be happy with a point as both sides struck a post late on.

A subdued start, during which both teams failed to find their offensive rhythm, saw West Brom perhaps looking the slightly more controlled side but continually giving away possession in promising areas of the pitch.

That was until the 20th minute when Tom Fellows hared down Hull’s right channel before sending a low cross towards Jed Wallace. His instinctive strike hit the crossbar, with Alex Mowatt’s attempt from the rebound pawed to safety by goalkeeper Ryan Allsop.

Hull, who had won their last three games, finally stepped up a gear four minutes later.

Anass Zaroury cut inside from the left and let rip with a fierce long-range hit that was well stopped by goalkeeper Alex Palmer.

Carvalho was similarly positioned for the opening goal, but the Liverpool loan signing’s dipping strike was far more emphatic. Palmer might have done better at his near post, but West Brom were also guilty of failing to react to Zaroury’s quick corner.

Baggies fans might have feared the worst as their side had not won when conceding first in the Championship this season.

But hope soon reasserted itself in the away end when Furlong equalised after 43 minutes.

Jaden Philogene was too slow to adjust to the zip of Wallace’s corner, with Furlong’s header thumping into the turf, over Allsop’s head and into the left corner.

The start to the second half mirrored that of the first, with neither Hull nor West Brom doing enough to force to the issue.

Rosenior’s men saw more of the ball as the game wore on but well-drilled opponents were rarely flustered until Philogene slinked into a central position after 79 minutes.

The influential winger’s screwed hit from 18 yards had Palmer beaten, but the ball hit the base of the right post and Carvalho wastefully fired the rebound over.

West Brom also hit the woodwork two minutes later when Adam Reach’s well-directed effort struck the inside of the left post after substitute Regan Slater had given the ball away in an awful area. Mikey Johnston followed up from the right but Allsop saved his scuffed effort with his right boot.

The clast chance disappeared with Albion substitute Andi Weimann’s feeble chip straight at Allsop, ensuring a share of the spoils.

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