IT SAYS much about the maddening nature of Hull City’s season that the only three clubs to score more goals than the Yorkshire outfit in the Championship will finish in the top four, while only the bottom three plus Reading have let in more.
For all the attacking threat that the Tigers have shown over the past nine months, an inability at times to fulfil even the most basic principles of defending has made the 2017-18 campaign one to forget.
Sure, Hull avoided following Sunderland, also relegated from the Premier League a year ago, into the third tier.
But a squad capable of out-scoring all but champions Wolverhampton Wanderers, Fulham and Aston Villa should be a lot higher than the 18th place that Hull will occupy regardless of how tomorrow’s trip to Brentford pans out.
“It was important to put my mark on the team,” said Nigel Adkins, brought in as manager last November following the dismissal of Leonid Slutsky. “I would like to think I have introduced some good things.
“My main priority now is to get some players in. I have been banging on the door. History tells you if you don’t get the players in early in pre-season it will be challenging.”
Adkins’s challenge is to ensure next season brings a focus on the top end of the Championship rather than the bottom.
Not that this will be easy with eight senior players heading out of the club at the end of their contracts along with a quartet of loanees that includes Harry Wilson, a key man in the recent charge towards safety.
“Pre-season is going to be very important,” added the Tigers’ chief. “The results are insignificant; win, lose or draw it is irrelevant. But if you can get off to a good start momentum can take you a long way.”