A season of big progress and bigger frustrations for Hull City

Jaden Philogene shows his frustration at Home Park
Jaden Philogene shows his frustration at Home Park -Credit:Benjamin Gilbert/Focus Images Ltd

It just wasn't meant to be for Hull City at Plymouth Argyle on Saturday afternoon as their season came to a shuddering halt.

A 1-0 defeat to the Pilgrims at a raucous Home Park coupled with West Brom's 3-0 cruise to victory over Preston quashed any hope of a play-off place, while three crucial points for the hosts ensured their safety at the expense of Birmingham, who were relegated to League One.

Head coach Liam Rosenior and his staff must now regroup over the next few days as they reflect on a disappointing end to a season of progress, and frustration.

READ MORE: Acun Ilicali's classy gesture to Hull City fans ahead of Plymouth Argyle match

A bridge too far

If we've learned one thing about Hull City under Liam Rosenior this season it's that their performance can often be predicted after just five minutes of a game, and this was another example.

City were slow to start, they allowed Plymouth to gain a foothold in the contest and because of that, the crowd were always loud and involved and the hosts thrived off that. Rosenior's side gave the ball away too cheaply and when they wrestled it back, they just could not create any momentum.

It was very reminiscent of the 2-0 defeat at QPR just before Christmas, and on that day, City were poor from the start and never really recovered, and that was the same here. While they improved in the second half, it was nowhere near the level we've come to expect.

As it happened, West Brom's 3-0 win over a truly hopeless Preston team rendered this result pointless, but for the campaign to end on such a dour note was a real shame and it deserved more, particularly for those supporters who made the long, long journey to Home Park.

Progress has been made

Without question, City have made giant strides. From finishing 15th last term to go so close to snatching a place in the top six is a big step forward and should be applauded.

Rosenior has helped create a really positive culture at the football club, but with the squad of players at his disposal, it does feel like a missed opportunity, and one that may never come around again.

That will be the frustration, because they've dropped so many points in games they should never have done so.

Lessons must be learned

This was another game against a team at the bottom end of the table where Rosenior and his players have fallen short, having been unable to find a way through a low block. City have found that difficult all season, and that's a key reason why they've finished seventh.

Right from the start of the season, Rosenior's side have found it difficult - both home and away - to find a way of getting their attacking players in areas they can hurt the opposition.

Rarely, if ever, in the game were they able to create anything of note against a team at the bottom end of the table, instead, restricted largely to attempts from distance. That's something they'll need to work on during the summer and find a solution next term.

Decisions to be made

Naturally, when a season ends, there's always lots of changes and that will be no different within the walls of the MKM Stadium.

Decisions will need to be made over the future of players, with the likes of Greg Docherty, Adama Traore and Cyrus Christie all out of contract.

The loan players will return to their parent clubs and that will leave a huge void inside the squad, so what happens with recruitment will be hugely important in the coming weeks and going into the summer.

Top-level support

We can't not mention the backing at Plymouth. More than 1,700 trekked down believing their side could finish the job. Flags were draped from hotels, flying from cars and City shirts awash in Plymouth across the weekend.

Unfortunately, it wasn't meant to be and their side delivered a performance that will have hurt the players and frustrated the fans.

The fact they all stayed to clap their players off amid a pitch invasion from the home supporters, singing their songs, showed how proud they were of their team for the work they've put in over the course of the last 46 games.

City have fallen short of the play-offs because of their lack of quality in both boxes, but it certainly hasn't been down to a lack of effort or application.

Acun's gesture

In case you haven't seen it, owner Acun Ilicali spent more than £10,000 on giving every member of the away supporters a £6 voucher to spend in the concourse at Home Park.

It's another example of the unique backing this football club has, and while on the pitch, City have fallen short, off it, there is no doubt the club are making giant strides forward and have something to be proud of.

How would you rate City's campaign? Have your say in the comments below....