Swansea City v Hull City: Pearson lifts pressure by hailing Hull’s ‘tremendous effort’

ADAM PEARSON insists Hull City’s season has been a “fantastic success” – regardless of whether the club can gatecrash the play-offs or not.

The Tigers are one of several sides targeting Leeds United’s sixth place ahead of tonight’s full programme of Championship games.

Five points separate Hull from the final play-off position, meaning Nigel Pearson’s men cannot afford to drop too many more during the run-in.

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Hull’s final half-dozen games start with a trip to Swansea City, a team who are eyeing automatic promotion following Saturday’s hugely impressive 3-0 win over second-placed Norwich City.

Head of football operations Pearson admits the Tigers will have to dig deep to extend their unbeaten run on the road to 16 games and maintain the pressure on the top six.

He said: “It is a really tough fixture, particularly as Swansea are so strong at home. We will have to be at our best, though we will travel in confident mood thanks to our own form away from home.

“We have not lost (on the road) since going to Burnley in September and that is a tremendous effort by the players.”

For Hull to still be in the hunt for promotion with six games remaining is something that supporters could have only dreamed about when the campaign got underway in August.

Relegated from the top flight, Hull were in dire financial straits and in danger of slipping into administration.

They were also expected to struggle on the field due to new manager Nigel Pearson being forced to rebuild on the cheap due to a lack of funding that saw just £50,000 spent on Jay Simpson in the summer transfer window.

December’s takeover by the Allam family changed all that, however, with the Hull manager suddenly able to splash the cash on the likes of Aaron Mclean, Matty Fryatt and James Chester.

Adam Pearson said: “A lot of teams come down from the Premier League in the sort of turmoil Hull were in and just keep falling. That hasn’t happened to us, although maybe it seemed a possibility in October.

“That is why I feel the season has been a fantastic success, no matter what happens in those final few games. The club has stabilised, despite starting the season looking in a terminal condition.

“Nigel has done an excellent re-building job. He has signed good, young players full of promise and potential. Corry Evans, Cameron Stewart, Liam Rosenior and James Chester will be the bedrock of the side next season. We are giving everything to get into the play-offs but if it doesn’t happen then we will be in a good position to keep making great strides next year.

“Nigel knows the elements of the side he wants to strengthen and I would anticipate another four or five signings in the next transfer window. That would leave us in a really promising position as a club.”

Last six games: Swansea City LDLWLW, Hull City WLWDLW.

Last time: Swansea City 2 Hull City 1; August 26, 2008, League Cup.

Referee: R Booth (Nottinghamshire).