Nigel Adkins is currently the Tigers’ manager having replaced the sacked Leonid Slutsky in December 2017. Adkins has had an up and down managerial career. In 2006 after being promoted from head physio at Scunthorpe, he led the Iron to promotion to the Championship in his first season in charge.
Despite Scunthorpe’s relegation to League One, Adkins stayed and led the team back to the second-tier of English football at the first time of asking, after they beat Millwall 3-2 in the League One play-off final at Wembley.
After managing 152 games at Glanford Park and averaging 1.43 points per game, The Saints came calling and Adkins moved to Southampton, replacing the sacked Alan Pardew in August 2010.
During his time on the south-coast, Adkins led Southampton to back-to-back promotions to the Championship and then to the Premier League finishing second behind Reading in the 2011/12 season. Despite keeping Southampton above the relegation zone in his first season in the Premier League, Adkins was fired.
His next managerial job was at Reading, who had sacked Brian McDermott. It didn’t quite work out for him during his time at RG2 having failed to save the Royals from relegation to the Championship. Adkins’ side then narrowly missed out on the play-offs with Brighton taking the final play-spot on the last day of the 2013/14 season.
Following a poor run of results including a humiliating 6-1 defeat at Birmingham, Adkins’ contract was terminated in December 2015.
On the other hand, Adkins is credited with staying with the Royals when the club was brink of going under and giving nine academy players their first team debuts. Something he mentioned in his pre-match press conference.
He then moved to South Yorkshire to take the reigns at Sheffield United in 2015. But following a poor 2015/16 season in which the Blades finished 11th, Adkins was dismissed.
Jarrod Bowen is currently Hull’s leading goal-scorer with 11 strikes in 25 Championship games. In fact, the right winger’s goals put him in ninth place in the Championship goal-scoring charts – only Lewis Grabban (12), Leo Bonatini (12), Britt Assombalonga (12), Bobby Reid (12), Matej Vydra (14) and Leon Clarke (15) have scored more.
Bowen is Hull’s key player and will need to be marked tightly if Reading are to get a win on Humberside.
The Tiger’s captain is Michael Dawson. At 34 years-old, Dawson brings a wealth of experience to the Hull side, having played 286 games in the Premier League. As well as earning four England caps, the former Nottingham Forest man was also part of the Tottenham side that won the League Cup in 2008.
On the other hand, the current longest serving player for Hull is Allan McGregor who has been at the club since completing a move from Turkish side Besiktas in August 2013. The 35 year-old has made 129 appearances during his time on Humberside, including 52 in the Premier League.
Like Dawson, McGregor brings a winner’s mentality to the side having won the Scottish Premiership and Scottish Cup three times each, and the Scottish League Cup on five occasions – all during his spell at Rangers.
He also brings international experience having been capped 36 times for Scotland.
This weekend’s games sees a number of players facing their former clubs. In this section I take a look at players who have played for both clubs.
Michael Hector should be a familiar name for Reading fans, having made 93 appearances for the Royals between 2014 and 2016. Hector, who is currently on loan at Hull from Chelsea, returned to Reading for the first time earlier this campaign since completing a shock move to Stamford Bridge in August 2015.
Stephen Quinn made 97 appearances and scored five goals for Hull in a spell between 2012 and 2015. Following the expiry of his contract, Quinn signed for the Royals on a free transfer in the summer of 2015. However, he is not expected to feature, as he is currently out injured.
Another player that has played for both sides is Paul McShane who made 136 appearances for Hull between 2012 and 2015. McShane followed Quinn to Reading by signing as a free agent in the summer of 2015, just a few days after his former Hull teammate moved to RG2.
Sone Aluko had a three year spell on Humberside making 108 appearances and scoring 14 goals. Following the expiry of his contract at Hull in 2016, he made the move down south to Fulham, where he helped Slavisa Jokanovic’s side to a play-off finish last season.
In total, Aluko played six times for Fulham against Reading – two regular league games, the abandoned fog match, a further two play-off matches and a final occasion in August this season before swapping clubs a few weeks later.
Mannone spent two seasons on loan at Hull between October 2010 and May 2012 whilst still contracted to Arsenal. The goalkeeper would go on to make 33 appearances for Hull, which included saving a penalty from former Reading striker Shane Long in a 1-1 draw on Humberside.
Following Hull’s 1-0 win over Blackburn in the FA Cup, manager Nigel Adkins could revert back to a full-strength team with Seb Larsson and Michael Dawson expected to return.
Here’s how Hull lined up in their last league game against Bolton in December (4-2-3-1).
Allan McGregor (GK); Fikayo Tomori, Michael Dawson, Michael Hector, Temitayo Aina; Markus Henriksen, Kevin Stewart, Jon Toral, Jarrod Bowen; Nouha Dicko.