NEW Hull City head coach Nigel Adkins says he is under no illusions about the extent of the task he has taken on and acknowledges that the Tigers are currently embroiled in an intense Championship relegation fight.
The former Sheffield United manager, returning to the dug-out after an 18-month spell out of the game following his sacking by the Blades in May 2016, has revealed that he turned down a number of opportunities prior to accepting the challenge at Hull.
Adkins has signed an 18-month deal and will be assisted by Rotherham-born Andy Crosby, who has worked as his assistant at all of his previous clubs, including the Blades, Southampton and Reading.
Tony Pennock will remain as first-team coach.
Adkins takes over a Hull side who are without a win in seven Championship matches and are hovering precariously just above the relegation zone in 20th place, three points above third-from-bottom Birmingham City.
The East Yorkshire outift have won just twice in their past 15 league matches with their season listing alarmingly, prompting fears that they could become just the third club to suffer a second consecutive relegation after dropping out of the Premier League.
This has happened previously to Swindon in 1995 and Wolves in 2013.
Adkins, who has become Hull’s fifth manager/head coach in just 17 months, said: “At this moment in time, the owner has made a change because of where the club is in the division.
“The position we are in is in a relegation battle. We have got to change that around. We have got to win games of football, but focus on how we are going to do that.
The position we are in is in a relegation battle. We have got to change that around. We have got to win games of football, but focus on how we are going to do that.Hull City manager, Nigel Adkins
“For the foreseeable future, if we are level or in front in the last 10 minutes of a game, there is going to be a nervousness about us because of the late goals we have conceded.
“That is going to take a period of time, but we just need to work on the training ground and go through the process of being organised and structured.
“At every club there is going to be challenges that happen.
“We are where we are at the moment because there has been a change.
“There are things that are not right that we need to address, but, it is like everything, we cannot wave a wand and make it happen overnight.”
READ MORE: Nigel Adkins Factfile
Adkins, who was close to landing the Hull post in the summer before Leonid Slutsky got the nod, also revealed that he rebuffed an offer to take on a director of football-type role at the club after being sounded out by vice-chairman Ehab Allam and offered the post last year.
The 52-year-old remained keen on keeping his options open and waiting for the right managerial post to arrive and feels that it has now arrived.
On his path to the Tigers, Adkins, who will be introduced to Tigers supporters ahead of tomorrow’s home game with Brentford, said: “I could have waited for another job opportunity, but this is a big club.
“It has been in an FA Cup final, Europe and the Premier League. It has got aspirations to go back to the Premier League again.
“We have an opportunity here at Hull City to do that. I could have taken a job in other divisions, but I decided to wait a bit longer.
“I have had a good period out and I am in a really good place. It is about time to get back in the hot seat.
“I have been up in this area for 14 years (with Scunthorpe) and I am accustomed to being up here.”
Admitting that he did not apply for his current head coach role, he added: “I got the call. Seriously, I have been very lucky. Since I have been out from Sheffield there has been only one job I applied for.
“I spoke with the owner previously. He phoned me out of the blue last year when the club was in the Premier League. He offered me a position. We do not like the title of director of football, but it was along those lines.”
Adkins joins a club whose disconnection with sections of the Tigers’ fanbase has been self-evident for the past couple of years. The East Yorkshire club have suffered testing times both on and off the pitch.
The new head coach, for his part, is hoping that bridges can somehow be built to give the Tigers the best chance of achieving their aims on the pitch.
He added: “We need to have a belonging. I have been at several clubs with different types of owners and there is always going to be a challenge along the way.
“At this moment in time we just have to come together for the best interests of Hull City.
“We are at the wrong end of the table and we have got to address that. The supporters want Hull City to do well.
“It is their club. When I am gone, the players, the staff, the owners, it will still be their club. All we have got to do is come together and support the guys on the pitch.”