Backed in the transfer market by new owners, Hull had a busy summer window, bringing in over 15 first-team players to help Shota Arveladze achieve his aim of getting the Tigers back in the Premier League.
However, after a difficult start which was characterised by a lack of team cohesion and defensive fragility, the Hull hierarchy made a change in management and appointed former Derby County boss Liam Rosenior to take the reins.
Following the World Cup break, Rosenior’s men went five matches unbeaten in the Championship to lift themselves away from the relegation zone, with the highlight of that run being a comprehensive 4-1 victory over Kolo Toure’s Wigan Athletic at the start of January.
The club’s results have dipped slightly since that success at DW Stadium, with Hull now winless in their last three matches in all competitions – the most recent of those being a narrow 1-0 defeat to high-flying Sheffield United at Bramall Lane last weekend as Daniel Jebbison netted his first of the season for the Blades.
Rosenior has certainly made the Tigers harder to beat since taking charge in November, a change which has seen Hull climb to 16th in the Championship standings, eight points ahead of the relegation zone.
Neil Critchley started life as QPR boss in convincing fashion when he led his new set of players to a 1-0 victory over Preston North End at Deepdale courtesy of a Jimmy Dunne second-half goal.
However – unfortunately for Critchley and the club’s supporters – since that win at Deepdale before Christmas QPR have failed to win in six-straight matches, with the lowest moment of that run being the 2-1 defeat to third-tier Fleetwood Town in the third round of the FA Cup
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It must be added that those five Championship matches without maximum points includes only one loss, but the harsh reality is that without regular wins the R’s will continue to be cut adrift from the playoff positions they have been chasing over the past three seasons.
The West London outfit now find themselves 13th in the second tier, four points behind sixth-placed Middlesbrough and just four points above Saturday’s opponents Hull.
A positive of the last fortnight for QPR has been the performances of loan signing Jamal Lowe, with the ex-Swansea City man registering a goal and an assist in his first two matches since the switch from Premier League Bournemouth earlier in the month.