Nigel Adkins reflected on the bigger picture after watching the Tigers end their home campaign with a disappointing 2-0 defeat against promotion-chasing Cardiff City on Saturday.
Whilst acknowledging that his side had lacked the necessary tempo to trouble the Welsh side, Adkins looked at what his players have done in recent months and is looking ahead to the future.
“It was a disappointing game but then somebody reminded me of the job we came here to do initially, which was to stay in this division, and we’ve done that,” said Adkins.
“Great credit to Cardiff because they’ve been up at the top end all season and have put themselves in the box seat to get to the Premier League with hard graft and doing the right thing. They’ve scored from a set-play and then from a counter-attack after our own corner.
“We went into the game with a positive mind-set and with four in attack because we know that Cardiff go man-for-man at the back, but we didn’t pass the ball anywhere near quickly enough.
“There was no flow to the game, it was stop-start and I thought it was tedious to watch to be honest.
“However, like I said, I have been reminded of the bigger picture and that is that we have put ourselves in the Championship for next season.
“We had 25 players to select from and we’ve given a few the opportunity to play, but the level of performance that we’ve seen of late wasn’t there.
“At the start of the week, we’ve effectively said that this is the start of pre-season and we’re trying to be as pro-active as we can in these couple of weeks that we have. This performance has maybe highlighted the fact that we’ve got a lot of work to go and do.
“Let’s not forget, though, the hard work that the players have put in during the last few months. It just didn’t go for us in this game.”
Adkins also gave an update on the injury suffered by Angus MacDonald during the first half, and the signs aren’t good for the centre back.
“It looks as though he has dislocated his shoulder,” revealed Adkins.
“If that is the case, it’s a massive blow because that would rule him out for the start of next season.
“He’ll have all of the checks but he was in a lot of pain. We’ve got an excellent medical team and he’ll get the expert medical care he needs.”