CHAMPIONS: NIGEL PEARSON admits promotion-chasing Hull City have little margin for error in the second half of the season.
The Tigers sit 15th in the table but such is the tight nature of the Championship that they are only four points off the play-offs.
A seven-game unbeaten run together with last month's takeover by the Allams has fuelled belief in the East Riding that City may be able to bounce back from relegation at the first attempt.
To do so, manager Pearson insists there can be no let-up in form during a second half of the campaign that gets underway today against his former club Leicester.
He said: "The start we have had puts us in a situation where there is no margin for error. It is going to remain a very interesting league but there is more of an air of optimism.
"My job is to keep things steady and make sure our performances and results keep improving. It has disappointed me how long it has taken us to move in the right direction. We are still a work in progress but we are getting there."
The recent takeover by Assem and Ehab Allam not only helped rescue the club as the father and son team pumped in 30m cash and provided guarantees for a further 10m in loans.
It also gave manager Pearson, who before the sale had spent just 50,000, some welcome backing in the transfer market.
Aaron Mclean was the first to arrive in a 1.3m deal from Peterborough and the 27-year-old is in line to make his debut against Sven Goran Eriksson's Leicester.
Matty Fryatt is also due to sign for 1.2m, though the striker will have to wait until Monday's trip to Portsmouth to make his debut due to the Foxes understandably being reluctant to release the player until after today's game.
On Mclean, the City manager said: "Aaron is a very hard working player whose goal-scoring record is pretty good as well so I'm pleased to get him on board.
"He will give us that endeavour and tenacity, but also his fair share of goals as well.
"I believe he will be a good player for this club. He has played at this level before."
Goalkeeper Brad Guzan is expected to join City on loan from Aston Villa after it was revealed Vito Mannone will be out for four weeks with a thigh injury.HIP: