With nine games still to play, such a gap is far from insurmountable – especially with three of the Tigers’ next four games being at the KCOM Stadium and the other at rock-bottom Ipswich Town.
But, with no less than six clubs standing between Hull and Derby County in sixth place, chances are the season will not be extending beyond May 5.
Chief Nigel Adkins, of course, refuses to concede that. Nor should he, not with 27 points still to play for in a competition that continues to delight in its unpredictability.
Perhaps understandably, however, attention in some quarters is starting to turn towards the summer and a number of pressing matters.
As ever at City, the thorny question of what to do with players whose deals – often agreed in the Premier League days – are about to expire.
David Marshall, Markus Henriksen and Evandro fall into that category this summer, while there will, no doubt, be plenty of interest in Jarrod Bowen with Tottenham Hotspur having regularly watched Hull’s top scorer.
More pressing, however, than even the future of key players such as Bowen and Kamil Grosicki is the future of head coach Adkins.
The 54-year-old’s deal runs out at the end of June and, so far, he has been forced to play a waiting game.
“I am just doing my job,” said Adkins about his role at Hull, whose parachute payments from the Premier League end this summer.
“Me and Andy Crosby are out of contract, fact. The club will do that in their own time. We are just getting on with things. We are looking at next season.
“I haven’t had talks about my future. I really enjoy it here and I try to engage with the supporters.”
City are hoping for an eighth win in nine outings on home soil today against a Queens Park Rangers side beaten 3-2 by Adkins’ men in December.