Hull City suffered a sixth defeat in their last seven games in all competitions on Tuesday night, as they lost 3-0 to Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park.
Three goals in seven second-half minutes were enough to secure all three points for the hosts, with Darragh Lenihan, Adam Armstrong and Dominic Samuel all on the scoresheet in a game where, with the exception of one Jackson Irvine effort that hit the crossbar, the Tigers rarely threatened.
That result leaves Hull 15th in the Championship standings, ten points off the play-offs, and ten points clear of the relegation zone, giving Grant McCann plenty to think about going forward.
Here, we look at three things we learnt about the Tigers from their defeat in Lancashire.
They may be thankful for the points accrued in the first half of the season
Heading into the start of 2020, Hull had taken a total of 36 points from their 25 league games, putting them 12th in the Championship table, three points off the play-offs.
Fast forward seven games, and the Tigers have added just four points – three of which came in a New Year’s Day win at Sheffield Wednesday – something which has seen them drop three places in the table, and more importantly, increased their deficit to the top-six by a further seven points.
Not only that, but that return is nothing other than relegation form, meaning the points they collected in the first half of the campaign are starting to look all the more important now, particularly when you consider the events of the January transfer window, which leads us onto…
Marcus Maddison has some way to go to find his feet at this level
Having been brought up from League One with Peterborough to fill the void left by the January departures of Jarrod Bowen and Kamil Grosicki, it seems Marcus Maddison has yet to fully find his feet in a bid to do that.
While the 26-year-old came up with one or two nice touches at Ewood Park on Tuesday night, there looked to be little in terms of substance at this level as of yet, with Maddison struggling to really create any chances or even work Blackburn goalkeeper Christian Walton with any efforts of his own.
As things stand, Rovers have the 11th best defence in the Championship this season in terms of goals conceded, so this feels as though it would have been a fair indicator of how capable Maddison is in this division at the moment, and that may not be the most promising sign for Hull looking ahead to what is a busy few weeks.
How much do you know about Hull’s January signings? Test your knowledge of the Tigers’ recent recruits here:
Injuries take their toll
In fairness to Hull, this trip to Ewood Park was always going to be a difficult challenge for Grant McCann’s side, given the number of senior players they were forced to cope without due to injury.
The Tigers’ young defence – which even featured midfielder Leo Da Silva Lopes at right-back – were rarely given a break from the pressure being applied by their hosts attack, while in midfield, Hull struggled really to establish any foothold in the game, making it hard to control possession or create those all important chances.
As a result, the revelation from McCann post-match that defender and captain Eric Lichaj, and on-loan Liverpool midfielder Herbie Kane, are both likely to miss the rest of the season, is only going to add to the concerns and questions, about just what the Tigers will be capable of achieving, between now and the end of the campaign.