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Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Appointment of Nigel Adkins unlikely to save sorry Hull

Lack of fit senior players could see struggling Tigers go down

Hull boss Nigel Adkins
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None of the relegated teams have flourished in this season's Sky Bet Championship and two of them - Sunderland and Hull – are at risk of dropping down another division.

Sunderland had been in the bottom three for almost three months until Saturday's 1-0 success at home to Fulham lifted them to 21st.

It was a notable day for the Black Cats, who won at home for the first time in 2017, and should mark the start of a revival under their new manager Chris Coleman.

When Coleman's move to Wearside was confirmed last month it looked like a brave decision. The 47-year-old's stock remained high after the fantastic job he did with Wales and he seemed to be joining a club in decline.

However, from a Sunderland perspective it was a major coup and has already had a positive impact by lifting the mood of the supporters.

The atmosphere at the Stadium of Light has improved and that process should accelerate now that the run of 21 home games without a win has come to an end.

Sunderland do not have a good enough squad to suddenly shoot up the table but with the help of a capable manager they could move away from danger and they look too short for the drop at 2-1.

While the mood is improving at Sunderland, it doesn't seem to be getting any brighter at Hull, despite the recent appointment of Nigel Adkins as manager.

Their first match under Adkins brought a much-improved performance and a well-deserved 3-2 home victory over Brentford.

But the losing habit returned with a 1-0 reverse at Cardiff on Saturday, leaving Hull only five points above the bottom three.

Hull's bench at Cardiff featured three players – Josh Clackstone, Greg Luer and Greg Olley – who are yet to make their first starts for the club.

Injuries have been a problem all season but there is not enough depth to the squad and the lack of fit senior players could be a major problem going into one of the busiest periods of the season.

A poor Christmas period could drag Hull into deeper trouble and further damage the strained relationship between supporters and owner Assem Allam.

Adkins needs to get busy in January but it is unclear how much backing he will get from the owner and a calamitous relegation cannot be ruled out.

Hull to be relegated
1pt 7-1 bet365, Coral, Ladbrokes

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While the mood is improving at Sunderland, it doesn't seem to be getting any brighter at Hull
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