In the play-offs and hoping to win promotion to the Premier League, Arsenal loanees Isaac Hayden and Chuba Akpom could make it a successful season yet.
There are still two Championship games to go this season but Hull, currently in fourth, are guaranteed a place in the play-offs and can’t reach a place fore automatic promotion.
A semi-final beckons and, with the final taking place at Wembley, the two players on loan from Arsenal are desperate to be involved.
Akpom has been in the Hull City team semi-regularly all season but Hayden has found appearances more difficult to come by.
An injury suffered by David Meyler has given Hayden a chance, one he took excellently on Tuesday in the 2-0 defeat of Brentford. Now the former England youth international is eyeing a place in the team for the play-offs.
“I would love to play my part,” the 21-year-old told Hull Daily Mail. “I don’t know David’s situation but I am sure he will be fighting to get fit for those play-offs.
“All I can do in training or any game time I get is give 100 per cent.”
Hayden has played 17 times in the Championship this season but the midweek win was only his eighth start and his first in over a month.
A lack of football almost saw him recalled by Arsenal back in January but Steve Bruce convinced the Gunners to let him stay. Now he has a shot at making that decision worth it.
“It was great to be out on the pitch again. It has been frustrating for me at times this season. I have just plugged away and done as much as I could in training.
“Maybe ‘frustrating’ isn’t the right word. It has more been a massive learning curve. Last season, I didn’t really kick a ball.’
Injuries have held back the versatile player’s progress: from Arsenal u21 captain two years ago, Hayden barely featured last year. This season has been crucial for proving his fitness again.
“I was out for eight months with an injury so to come into this season I wasn’t putting too much pressure on myself.
“The manager, the staff, and the players have all been a massive help. The players in my position have really helped me.”
The loan has undoubtedly been valuable but, truthfully, he needs more playing time. Whether or not that comes in Hull’s remaining games probably depends on the fitness of others.
Once the season ends, Isaac will have just one year remaining no his current Arsenal contract and there will be pressure on him to earn a new deal and possibly another loan spell during pre-season.
Last year, the youngster played for Arsenal in pre-season before his loan move and will almost certainly be given a shot to prove his worth again this summer.
At 21, he needs to be playing more first team football now and that isn’t likely to happen in north London just yet.