After his appointment this morning Nigel Adkins has given his first interview as Hull City boss and he will have immediately adhered himself to most fans by emphasising the name “Hull City” throughout.
Adkins gave a rallying cry that he will hope resonates with the thousands of disillusioned City fans who have been staying away from the KCOM recently with the ground looking more and more empty after each poor result, “Spirit and togetherness is everything. We all share a common goal – you come and support Hull City, you work for Hull City, you want Hull City to do well – and we all have a role in making that happen”. I doubt the emphasis of “Hull City” was in the Allam media briefing so it’s a good sign that Adkins obviously knows the issues the fans have had with the ownership and how much their club and it’s name means to them.
The former Scunthorpe boss was quick to hark back to the success City have enjoyed in the last few years and he wants to try and bring that back to the club, “This football club has been through a fantastic period in its history recently with Premier League promotions, an FA Cup Final, a League Cup semi-final, playing in Europe – we have to embrace that and keep that positivity going. With everybody pulling in the same direction we can achieve success here”. It’s a nice attitude to have but Adkins will soon realise the last thing this club has experienced in recent times is unity. The feud between the owners and fans is well documented and that has caused friction amongst sections of City supporters with differing views on how to deal with the Allam problem. Couple that with poor performances on the pitch and you are about as far away from FA Cup finals and European Football as you could possibly be.
The immediate job is to get City heading away from the League One trapdoor and picking up some wins but Adkins appears to be up for the challenge “Where we are in the table is something that we need to address and I’m really looking forward to working with the players, getting to know the staff and engaging with our supporters,”. Adkins certainly has experience, he has been promoted four times including taking Southampton into the Premier League but this is a different kettle of fish. City have picked up just two wins in their last fifteen games and a slump like that will take some getting out of. It will be interesting to see if the owners back him in January although we all know they probably won’t.
He pointed out that City are scoring a lot of goals and he will hope to build on that and will want to oversee further development of young stars like Jarrod Bowen. He needs to prioritise the defence though and City’s inability to hold onto a lead. He has the advantage here over Slutsky because he has been there and done it before in the Championship so hopefully he will be the steadying head City need.
The appointment hasn’t been met with unanimous joy with City fans, let’s face it no appointment ever is. The reality is though some City fans should be careful what they wish for. Adkins will hopefully get City playing solid football and will make them harder to break down, not fancy but effective stuff. Let’s face it there won’t have been a massive pile of CV’s on Ehab’s desk. Who would want to work for the Allams? Adkins was out of work and wanted a chance to get back into football but he is a positive and passionate guy who should be given a chance. Over to you Nigel…