A little over a month ago Hull City looked destined for automatic promotion back to the top flight at the first time of asking.
The Tigers were flying in the Championship and Steve Bruce’s side looked like they could not be stopped in their quest for a return to the Premier League.
After a 1-0 win at Play Off hopefuls Ipswich Town in mid February, The Tigers’ momentum has stalled and Hull City find themselves seven points behind the automatic promotion places after a poor run of just one win in their last seven league matches. The72 look at the three contributing factors towards City’s recent decline.
Uncertainty surrounding the future of manager Steve Bruce
The Tigers’ manager Steve Bruce has recently been linked to the manager’s job at Championship bound Aston Villa with the Midlands club targeting an immediate return to the Premier League in 12 months time. The speculation regarding Bruce’s future may have affected the focus of his players with the City boss being linked with a move to Villa Park for the past four to six weeks.
A chaotic March fixture schedule
Five matches in a period of just 15 days during the month of March provided a real test of the Hull City squad’s fitness. The Tigers failed to win any of the matches played during this time resulting in the club falling behind in the automatic promotion race.
The high standard of the March opposition
Hull City faced stern tests away from home against two clubs in Middlesbrough and Birmingham City who had promotion aspirations and The Tigers lost both matches 1-0. A 4-0 FA Cup Fifth Round Replay defeat at the hands of Premier League giants Arsenal did little to improve morale at The KC Stadium.
With just seven league fixtures remaining, City boss Steve Bruce has admitted that the club’s chances of automatic promotion now look slim and The Tigers are likely to have to gain promotion through the lottery of the Play Offs. City travel to West Yorkshire to face Huddersfield Town on Saturday.