Nigel Adkins: Hull City appoint former Southampton and Reading boss

Nigel Adkins
Nigel Adkins becomes Hull City's fourth manager in 17 months

Hull have appointed former Southampton and Reading boss Nigel Adkins as their new head coach on an 18-month contract.

The 52-year-old replaces Russian Leonid Slutsky, who left on Sunday with the club 20th in the Championship.

Adkins, who has been out of work since being sacked by Sheffield United in May 2016, guided the Saints to promotion to the Premier League in 2012.

He will oversee training on Thursday and his first match in charge will come at home to Brentford on Saturday.

"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 told the club website.

"We score a lot of goals and that is a positive that needs accentuating, but we have conceded too many goals and we have to address that collectively.

"We need everybody pulling in the same direction because we all want the same thing - for Hull City to be challenging at the top end."

Adkins, an ex-Tranmere and Wigan goalkeeper, enjoyed success with Scunthorpe in his first managerial role in England, after initially being the club's physio.

He twice led the Iron to promotion to the Championship before leaving to take over at Southampton in September 2010.

After guiding the St Mary's side to back-to-back promotions to the Premier League he was surprisingly sacked in January 2013, with Mauricio Pochettino appointed as his replacement.

His last two management jobs have been less successful, with spells at both Reading and Sheffield United ending in disappointment.

All change in the Hull hot seat

Adkins is the fourth man to take charge of Hull since Steve Bruce's four-year spell came to an end in July 2016.

Mike Phelan initially took over on a caretaker basis before being given the job in October after an encouraging start to the Premier League season.

He was sacked in January after a run of three points from nine games left them in the relegation zone.

Portuguese Marco Silva was appointed on a deal until the end of the campaign but was unable to stop them being relegated back to the Championship and he left for Watford in May.

Slutsky became the first Russian to manage an English league side when he was appointed in June 2017 but he earned just four wins in 20 Championship games.

What do the fans think?

Hull City fans
Hull are currently 20th in the Championship

Geoff Bielby, chairman of the Hull City Supporters' Trust told BBC Humberside: "Nigel Adkins comes with a decent pedigree.

"I've always admired Nigel Adkins for his positivity, (and) the one thing that Hull City needs is positivity, we seem to be in a hole, there's too much toxicity in the club and hopefully he can lead us out of that.

"We have some quite talented individuals in the squad, but there seems to be an absolute lack of team spirit when the chips are down, we concede a goal and the heads go down and there just doesn't seem to be a plan B.

"I hope Nigel Adkins' positivity can help with that."

Analysis

Matt Dean BBC Radio Humberside sport editor

Nigel Adkins' biggest asset is unquestionably his man-management. During his most successful periods, at Scunthorpe United and Southampton, he extracted the most out of all of his players, including those with limited ability, which paved the way for glorious times and secured him legendary status at both clubs in the process.

The blots on his copybook came at Reading and Sheffield United. I know he feels strongly that there were mitigating circumstances attached to his time in charge at both, but it's those recent experiences which mean there's now work to be done by Adkins to repair his career.

Since being sacked by Sheffield United in May of last year, he's tried to use his time wisely. He's visited sports clubs all around the world to broaden his learning and came close to being appointed at the KCOM Stadium in the summer when he was pipped to the job by Leonid Slutsky. However, he made a favourable impression on vice-chairman Ehab Allam and was the only serious name in the frame for the job this time around.

Adkins is likeable and his enthusiasm is infectious but, as Slutsky found out to his cost, charm can take you only so far and Adkins, like Hull City, needs results to win over the doubters and secure desperately needed stability.

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