QPR v Hull City: Tigers chief Nigel Adkins aims to set up happy anniversary
ON the surface, little will have changed when Nigel Adkins reaches his first anniversary as Hull City head coach next week.
The Tigers were deep in the relegation mire when he arrived last December and they remain so ahead of today’s trip to Queens Park Rangers.
Scratch a little deeper, however, and just how turbulent this past 12 months have been at the KCOM Stadium becomes clear.
Seven of the starting XI from Adkins’s first game – a 3-2 home win over Brentford – have since left along with other long-serving players missing that day such as Abel Hernandez and Adama Diomande.
Harry Wilson, one of two signings made by Adkins in his first transfer window, has also been and gone after joining Hernandez in providing much of the late season impetus that kept City up.
“I would like to think we did a really good job last season in making sure the football club was still in the Championship this season,” he said, when asked about next Friday’s anniversary of succeeding Leonid Slutsky.
“We are still in and around that but, obviously, the team was dismantled in the summer.
“The budget has been reduced from last season. We signed Angus (MacDonald) in the last January window and then in the summer everyone left. We brought a lot of people in.
“There are challenges. There are challenges at every football club but I want to do well for everyone here at Hull City.
“We are going through the challenges. One of the challenges is about the uncertainty over the takeover. Does that affect where we are in January? Of course it does.
“Does that affect the budget for next season? Of course it does. It is that uncertainty.
“Everyone is still having a go for each other but we need to turn it around and get better results to climb up the division.”
Adkins, who takes his side to Loftus Road having lost just once in six outings, added: “It has taken time. But we can see that there is a team ethos, where everyone is committed.
“I would also like to think we have done our best to engage with supporters. The doors are open every day for them to watch training. We are doing all we can to put a team out to make fans proud.”
Adkins passed another notable anniversary in midweek, the goalless draw with Norwich City being his 50th game at the helm of Hull.
Thirteen of those have been won and 22 lost, underlining how tough life has been at City but the 53-year-old insists he is enjoying the job.
“I love being the manager of a football club,” he said. “I love the responsibility.
“How can I get the best out of a David Milinkovic, a Kamil Grosicki, a Dan Batty? How can Frazier Campbell be suddenly scoring goals and running around like he is 10 years younger?
“How can you nurture players? How can you keep players together through adversity?
“I enjoy all these things. I love living in the area. I am committed to what we do and I want the football club to do well.”