Hull City have been dragged down the Championship table after losing five of their last seven. A run which has seen them plummet from 8th to 17th place since New Year’s Day.
Whilst the dreaded ‘R’ word is a future possibility, City have shown promise that an elusive win isn’t far away, something that would ease any worries of relegation for the time being.
After losing four games on the bounce, the draw away at Reading was a timely result, however, the plague of inconsistency struck again when Grant McCann’s side were on the receiving end of a 3-0 drubbing away at Blackburn Rovers.
The thrilling 4-4 draw against the Swans last time out will provide encouragement that positive results aren’t too far away, as long as City make a massive defensive improvement. This is something that should happen when Reece Burke and Jordy De Wijs both return from injury in late February.
With that in mind, we look at FOUR talking points that have surfaced from the three previous fixtures.
New signings have settled well
Following their January arrivals, two of the fit signings Marcus Maddison and Mallik Wilks have settled into their new home reasonably well.
With the on-going angst surrounding the clubs ownership and horrific slump in the on-field performances, Maddison and Wilks have been a rare bright spark for the Tigers in recent weeks.
Wilks grabbed the all-important late equaliser away at Reading and also struck last time out against Swansea.
Marcus Maddison’s recent performances rewarded him with his first goal for the Tigers on his full home debut.
A nightmare defensively
Three games, eight goals conceded. It doesn’t come much more encouraging than that if you’re an opposing attacker facing Hull in your next fixture.
In their fixture against Blackburn Rovers, a seven minute lapse allowed them to hammer home their superior advantage to score three with the Tigers defensive struggles matching their toothlessness in attack.
City were the complete opposite against Swansea where they showed a ruthlessness in attack to grab four goals, though it was unfortunate that four were also conceded at the receiving end. The game was a show of two poor defences which marked City’s need to welcome back defensive reinforcements.
Determination to comeback
A side that is destined to suffer relegation is one that shows little determination, fortunately McCann’s side have that in abundance.
In two of City’s three previous matches they have comeback from a losing position to claim a result. Mallik Wilks’ 84th minute equaliser against Reading ensured a share of the spoils.
Tom Eaves also scored a dramatic late equaliser in the 94th minute to grab a much-needed point against Swansea. Despite coming from behind, it was a topsy turvy contest in which City surrendered a lead three times, whilst having to settle for a point for their efforts.
Youth is promising
Hull City have been blessed with talented academy graduates in recent times; Daniel Batty, Robbie McKenzie, Brandon Fleming, Keane Lewis-Potter and Jarrod Bowen are all notable mentions of players who have risen through City’s academy and gone onto make a first team contribution.
A long list of injuries has meant that youth have been rewarded with a taste of being in a matchday squad. Remarkably, in City’s 1-1 draw against Reading, there were three academy graduates on the bench; Elliot Bonds (19) Andy Smith (18) and Keane Lewis-Potter (18) all featured, with Lewis-Potter assisting Wilks for his equaliser.