With the KCOM Stadium currently rife with tension and constant protests against the owners, one man, ingrained with unwavering positivity, has a big job on his hands.
After taking over from Leonard Slutksy in December, Nigel Adkins walked into a club staring down the barrel of back to back relegation’s. With the Hull supporters firmly against the owner, Assem Allam, Adkins was always going to be swimming against the tide. However, the glass half full type of man set out to change all this and took on the challenge.
If he didn’t already know what type of job he had took on beforehand, then he would’ve definitely had established the severity of the task after the Tigers home game against Sheffield United. The protest group “Hull City Action” held a demonstration prior to the match before waving banners and launching tennis balls onto the pitch during the game, briefly bringing the fixture to a halt.
This type of negative atmosphere that looms large over Hull is a far cry from the togetherness Adkins created at his most successful club, Southampton.
If Adkins is going to replicate the magnificent job he did at Southampton, he has to quickly identify the supporters issues. Many are angry that there seems to be a shortfall of effort regarding players contracts.
With a lack of long term planning, many key players leave for next to nothing. Also, when players are being sold, there are no replacements coming back through the door. An example of this includes Harry Maguire, who left the KCOM for a reported 17 million pound fee. This has caused many to have the opinion that Allam is asset stripping and doesn’t share the same ambitious vision as the supporters.
Therefore, Nigel Adkins has to use all his experience and call upon his positive, extroverted personality to galvanize the squad as well as the Hull City followers. He must quickly establish a long term strategy for the club, ensuring the upcoming pre-season can be a time to transfer ideas across to the players and attempt to lay a foundation for which the Tigers can be successful. But before that, he has to carefully navigate the team through the next 8 games, ensuring Championship survival.
With the constant unrest and turmoil at Hull, one man can slowly but surely calm the situation down. As a result, Adkins needs to be backed by the board and be given patience by the supporters in order to be able to put his stamp onto the team. Having done it once already with Southampton, there is no reason why he can’t do it again…
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**Featured image courtesy of @Kai_Connell