IT may be a campaign which is in danger of petering out somewhat for Hull City but manager Nigel Adkins is entitled to be grateful for small mercies.
During some dark autumnal days, the 12th-placed Tigers were down among the dead men in the Championship relegation positions alongside today’s opponents Ipswich Town – only to summon the wherewithal to rescue their season at a critical juncture.
Hull’s transformation was such that a dalliance with the play-offs was afforded them at the start of 2019 and even though form has tallied off of late, Adkins’s side are still not completely out of the top-six picture just yet.
What cannot be beyond dispute is that City’s position is certainly vastly improved from their standing in late October.
By contrast, Ipswich have remained entrenched in the drop zone, a fear that many Hull fans will have envisaged for their own side five months ago.
Harkening back to those difficult times, Adkins said: “The fear was very real, just like last season when the danger was very real that this club could have been down and be where Sunderland find themselves this year.
We should highlight that we have done well. We are talking about the chance to get into the play-offs and get promoted to the Premier League, instead of talking about the threat of being relegated to League One.Nigel Adkins
“That danger is always there and we should highlight that we have done well.
“We are talking about the chance to get into the play-offs and get promoted to the Premier League, instead of talking about the threat of being relegated to League One.
“We were on the same points as Ipswich and bottom of the league in October. Now we are not. We are in the mix to get in the play-off positions with eight games to go.”
Impressively consistent at the KCOM Stadium, where they are unbeaten in 10 matches since November 24, Hull’s form on the road has been rather more open to censure.
The Tigers have lost their past five away matches and are without a league success on their travels in six games since a fine 2-0 win at Leeds United in late December.
Should Hull retain their outside top-six hopes by the close of play today, that situation will need to be rectified at Portman Road against a rock-bottom home side whose plight looks terminal.
Adkins added: “We need to address our away form and it is a game both teams will be looking to win.
“Both teams need the three points instead of just one.
“They have got nothing to lose any more, just like we have not. We have got everything to gain, so we should go out and do everything we can to win the game.”