Head coach Grant McCann wants much more from his players – even though his Hull side went top of Sky Bet League One with a 1-0 victory at home to AFC Wimbledon.
Keane Lewis-Potter’s goal in first-half injury time was enough to earn the hosts three points against determined opponents.
But McCann said: “Another win, another clean sheet and top of the league, but in terms of the performance – not good enough. We weren’t at the races.
“I can never fault the players’ commitment, attitude and endeavour, but we were off it.
“We kept going and kept going and kept going and ended up winning the game, but it’s probably the poorest we’ve been this season in terms of our performance.”
Hull, who are now two points ahead of Ipswich in the table, were not in full flow for long periods of the game – especially in the first half.
They should also have fallen behind when Jack Rudoni somehow dragged wide six yards out and directly in front of goal.
Alex Woodyard then went close with a 40th-minute header after Luke O’Neill’s fine cross.
But once Lewis-Potter tapped the ball home moments before the half-time whistle, Callum Elder’s corner having caused confusion, Hull showed plenty of resolve to see out the game in an improved second-half display.
McCann added: “We got the job done, which is the most pleasing thing.
“We’ve also scored another set-play goal, with another great ball from Callum Elder.
“It’s still early in the season but we’ve started quite well. There are going to be games when we’re not at our best and sometimes you just have to grind it out.
“I’m pleased with the defensive performance but there’s so much more we can do from an attacking perspective.
“We’ve started the season quite well and want to continue to build on that.”
Wimbledon manager Glyn Hodges felt his team were good value for at least a point.
He said: “Some of our football was excellent. We carved out the best two chances in the first half, but we’ve got to take one of them that comes our way.
“It was a bad goal to concede on our part and we’ve got to learn from it.
“We’ve certainly learned a big lesson. We’ve been too nice. We’re nice boys and we’ve got to take that ugly side of what they throw at you.”
Hodges added: “Apart from that corner that led to the goal, I can’t recall Connal (Trueman) having any real saves to make throughout the game.
“They defended well, though, and you have to give them credit for that.
“I thought it was a good game but it was a game that you’re left scratching your head because we deserved something from it.”