Leon Wobschall: Warmth of summer arrival at Hull City quickly replaced by cold-harsh reality Championship life for Leonid Slutsky

THE CHAMPIONSHIP is genuinely no respecter of reputations.

GONE: Hull City's manager Leonid Slutsky. Picture: Clint Hughes/PA

Players with decorated playing careers, continental managers with stand-out CV’s, bright young things and smooth operators. They have all dived into the second-tier pool and been eaten by the sharks. Di Matteo, Hasselbaink, Clement, McClaren, Zola and many more besides.

And so Leonid Slutsky, with a huge dollop of inevitability, is the latest casualty.

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Hull City are now looking for their fifth manager in 17 months following the exit of the Russian, with it always being a case of when and not if the former CSKA boss would depart enduring a torrid sequence of results.

Slutsky had looked a broken and bereft man in recent times, with it being somewhat of a shock that he did not leave the club at the start of last week following a desperate home defeat to Bristol City on November 25, when the Tigers imploded after taking a 2-0 lead to go down 3-2.

A last-gasp draw at Hillsborough on Saturday may have provided a spot of light relief, but the writing still looked on the wall with his Hull side having triumphed just twice in their previous 15 matches, with no wins in their last seven outings.

It was all in marked contrast to the summer, which must have seemed like an eternity ago for Slutsky.

The 46-year-old certainly did his very best to trash the stereotypical – and somewhat hackneyed – perception of Russians as being frosty in character at his official unveiling as Tigers manager.

Warmth positively exuded from the former Russian national team boss, who commandeered much popularity and respect in his homeland. As for stepping out of his comfort zone, it was seemingly not a problem for an individual whose strain of character and resolve was evident.

Slutsky’s own playing days ended at the tender age of just 19 due to a knee injury sustained after falling out of a tree attempting to rescue a cat. But unfortunately, he very much ran out of lives at Hull.

Popular with his players and supporters he may have been. But Slutsky could not deal in the hard currency of results and the attritional, hard-nosed nature of Championship combat.

Hull’s defensive deficiencies and brittle mentality, more especially towards the end of games, had pockmarked Slutsky’s past few months, with the Russian increasingly looking a tortured soul.

In the end, his departure was probably a bit of a blessing for him.