Despite back-to-back defeats against Nottingham Forest and Norwich City this past week, Hull City’s chances of making the Championship play-offs are not over.
However, with nine matches of the regular season remaining and the Tigers currently six points off the top six, the time has come for the club and its supporters to start preparing for next season.
It was always going to take something special for City to move from the bottom three in December to the play-offs and the past two games have shown that a top-half finish is more of a realistic target for Nigel Adkins’ side.
While you cannot fault the players’ efforts in either game and there is no shame at all in losing to Norwich, both defeats revealed that this team is short of the quality needed to secure a top-six finish.
While City have proved that they are capable of producing big performances at the KCOM Stadium this season, their away form has undermined their play-off push and they have not been able to match the consistency of the other top teams in the Championship.
With this in mind, it is now time for the club to stop thinking about a top-six finish and begin to carefully plan ahead for next season.
This is exactly what the next few weeks should be about and it has to start with the manager and his future at the club.
For me, Adkins deserves great credit for what he has been able to achieve at Hull this season with a limited budget and a relatively thin playing squad.
Considering the position the team were in before Christmas, a top-half finish would still be a great achievement for the Tigers.
Adkins deserves the chance to manage the team next season and also deserves to be handed the necessary funds to strengthen his squad in the summer.