HULL CITY manager Nigel Adkins is expecting the Championship to once again be the most competitive division this term.
The Tigers will have to wait another couple of days to kick-off their own campaign due to the home game with Aston Villa having been selected for live broadcast by Sky TV on Monday night.
It promises to be a tough start against former manager Steve Bruce and a team who reached the play-off final last May.
“Every division is going to be competitive,” said the Hull chief, who has previously worked in the second tier with Scunthorpe United, Southampton and Reading.
“The Championship is probably the one that is the most competitive and the rewards are there. In the Championship I think maybe 13 managers lost their jobs last year and even more the year before. So there is always going to be a turn around, that is why a lot of clubs end up in the situation they are. There is no long-term thinking or stability to be able to build something.”
Adkins arrived at the KCOM Stadium with Hull firmly entrenched in a relegation battle that would ultimately be won with a couple of games to spare.
Since then, however, the final tranche of players who took Hull to an FA Cup final and a Europa League debut have moved on to leave Adkins with a rebuilding job.
“What is the end goal?” mused the Hull chief when asked about his targets this term.
“Do we want to get back to the Premier League long term? Of course we do, that is where I want to be.
“I think even the BBC have us in the bottom three, so you know it is going to be a big ask.
“But who knows? If you can be fit and organised, can have a spirit about yourselves, and score goals and keep clean sheets then you have got an opportunity.
“There had to be a transformation, but it has to be a positive one for the long term. We are young, we are hungry and we are dynamic, we want the club to do well.
“Everyone is realistic to understand it will be a challenging season and it is one where we have to be organised and fit and have a spirit about ourselves and through pre-season we have demonstrated that.
“We have got a pre-season programme that we know works and we’ve come through that well. I would like to believe we are fit and organised and we definitely have a spirit about ourselves.
“Some results might go against you and that can knock the spirit, but if we’ve all got this togetherness then that spirit can take us a hell of a long way.”