It would be fair to say that the 2019/2020 season has not been very kind to Hull City, especially since the turn of the year.
The Tigers currently sit in 21st place in the Sky Bet Championship with just nine games left to secure their status in the division for next season, but are only two points ahead of Charlton Athletic, who occupy the final place in the relegation zone. It has been a tough year as a whole for Hull who were highly tipped to be making an assault on the play-offs before Christmas, but now appear to be staring a return to League One for the first time in 15 years, right in the eye.
The club are going through a particularly rough patch as of the start of the new decade, only picking up one win all year. That single win game on the very first day of 2020 away at Sheffield Wednesday as Jarrod Bowen scored the only goal of the game, but a run of nine defeats from their next eleven would send the Tigers plummeting towards the foot of the Championship table.
The EFL suspension may come as good news to Grant McCann and his players as they look to regroup for the remainder of the season and retain their place in the Championship. The Tigers were set to face Charlton Athletic last weekend in what can only be described as a relegation six-pointer; Hull are also still to face Middlesbrough, Wigan Athletic and Luton Town.
In a season of mainly downs, here are the TWO worst moments in Hull’s campaign this time out…
Sale of key assets
Just months before the start of the transfer window, people were tipping Hull to strengthen in the window and make a late push for the Championship play-offs. They had proven in the summer window that they were able to keep hold of their better players with the likes of Bowen and Kamil Grosicki lining up for the Tigers on the opening day of the season at Swansea City.
However, this is not how it turned out; both of their key assets left in the January window which has coincided with Hull’s tumble down the table. Bowen secured a move to the Premier League to West Ham United and has proved that he can make the step up when he netted for the Irons in their clash with Southampton. Polish international Grosicki made the jump to the West Midlands as he joined West Bromwich Albion as they look to return to the Premier League.
These two players were crucial for Hull over the last 18 months with the pair of them grabbing plenty of goals and assists in the first half of the season. They were Hull’s real creative threats and could produce a moment of magic out of nothing, but that spark has faded since their departure, with Hull struggling to find the net.
Stoke City 5-1 Hull City
This was a crucial game for the Tigers to boost their survival hopes and to put Stoke into a real spot of danger with a short period of the season remaining. Despite travelling to Stoke in such a dismal run, they were above them in the standings and had already proven that they could beat the Potters with a 2-1 win over them back in December. Bowen’s brace meant that Hull came from behind to grab all three points, but without their talisman, the Tigers struggled in Staffordshire.
Nick Powell started the goalscoring with Tyrese Campbell also getting in on the act shortly afterwards, but what will hurt Hull supporters most will be that former Hull midfielder Sam Clucas bagged a brace.
The game ended 5-1 to Stoke which saw Michael O’Neill’s side overtake the Tigers.