HULL CITY head coach Nigel Adkins has urged his side not to allow this season to “fizzle out”.
The Tigers’ hopes of gatecrashing the play-offs have taken a nosedive courtesy of two defeats and a draw.
Even a stirring run along the lines of the one that saw Hull win six games in a row around the turn of the year might not be enough to put sufficient pressure on the top six ahead of the run-in.
Adkins, one of football’s most positive characters, is not ready to concede anything.
But he admits there has to be an upturn in performance following the weekend drubbing at Brentford.
The Hull chief said: “I told the players in the dressing room afterwards, ‘We have got to make sure we don’t let the season fizzle out now’.
“That is always the situation that could materialise in these times, so we have got to make sure we stay on it. We have to be ready. We have got a totally different game against Millwall and we will have to compete far better than we did in the final 25 minutes of the Brentford.
“It will be very physical and they will be big on set-pieces. Millwall are totally different to the creative flair that Brentford showed.
“We know it will be a challenge. There will be changes. There was always going to be changes, but now I have got to take stock on the injuries and where they have left us.
“It is fair to say the players have been good this season. They have responded well to setbacks and stuck together.”
I told the players in the dressing room afterwards, ‘We have got to make sure we don’t let the season fizzle out now’. That is always the situation that could materialise in these timesHull City boss, Nigel Adkins
Hull have a number of injury doubts with goalkeeper David Marshall forced off at Brentford with a dead leg, while Jackson Irvine and Fraizer Campbell were also unable to finish the match at Griffin Park.
If Marshall is unavailable tonight George Long – signed last summer from Sheffield United – is in line for his first league start in Tigers colours.
Adkins added: “The form of David Marshall has been excellent, so it has been tough for George. But George is an excellent goalkeeper. I have had him before and I know he has got a lot of good attributes.
“George got his opportunity in the second half against Brentford and he looked assured.”
Last six games: Hull City WDLWLL Millwall DLDWWL.
Referee: D Bond (Lancashire)
Last time: Hull City 1 Millwall 2; March 6, 2018; Championship.