Michael Dawson is ready and willing to lead Hull through what he admits will he a hard “slog” of a season in the Sky Bet Championship.
Shortly after Hull’s 0-0 draw against Manchester United on Sunday, Dawson came to terms with the fact that he will be playing in the second tier of English football next term.
Since his last appearance in the division for Nottingham Forest 10 years ago, Dawson has won four England caps, played in a Champions League quarter-final against Real Madrid and won the League Cup with Tottenham.
Playing at the likes of Rotherham, Bristol City and MK Dons next season will not be regarded as career highlights, but Dawson made a three-year commitment to Hull when he signed for the club last summer and he seems determined to stay.
“It is going to be a slog in the Championship,” the Tigers captain said.
“I said when I signed for the club that I would give everything and I will keep doing that.”
Hull spurned plenty of chances to beat United, but, even if they had found a way past the impressive Victor Valdes, it would not have mattered as rivals Newcastle beat West Ham 2-0.
Dawson thinks the team’s profligacy has cost them their place in the top flight.
“It wasn’t Sunday that sent us down,” the defender said.
“We huffed and puffed and maybe it has been like that all season.
“We created chances and couldn’t get the ball in the net.
“That has happened too many times this season.
“We have had games we should have won and when we’ve been ahead we have drawn.”
Dawson’s team-mate James Chester says he will find it had to get over the disappointment of relegation.
“This is the worst moment. This is a moment that will haunt us for the rest of our lives. It really hurts,” the Hull defender said.
“But as sad as it is you need to get over it as quickly as possible as football doesn’t stand still. I know more than anyone how difficult the Championship is.
“We are bitterly disappointed. It is a failure that we will all have on our career for the rest of our days.
“It is a difficult one to take, especially when you look round the changing room at the players we have.
“I think today we had six or seven in the team that got us promoted but as good as we think we are, we need help.”