Steve Bruce accepts Hull’s hopes of automatic promotion look “remote” after their poor recent run continued at Huddersfield.
Top of the Sky Bet Championship in late February, a run of one victory in eight matches has seen the Tigers slip nine points behind the top two.
The latest in a string of poor results came at the John Smith’s Stadium, where Jamie Paterson gave Huddersfield a lead they looked set to add to in the second half.
Fine goalkeeeping from Allan McGregor allowed Abel Hernandez to level for Hull – a strike that looked set to count for little when Harry Maguire directed into his own goal late on.
However, there was to be more drama as substitute Adama Diomande headed home in stoppage time to secure a 2-2 draw that may have saved Hull’s blushes but not their automatic promotion hopes.
“If I was a betting man, you’d say yes (automatic promotion is gone),” boss Bruce said.
“However, if we have to go through the play-offs, we have to cement our position in the play-offs first.
“There’s six games to go and we can still get 18 points, which would take us to 88 points.
“I have to say it looks a bit remote at the minute because just at the wrong time we’ve stumbled.
“Hopefully the goal from Abel will kick-charge him in, but we’ve shot ourselves in the foot by missing big opportunities that have come our way.
“Look, we’ve had one win in eight – probably at the wrong time.
“It hasn’t happened for us and today was typical of what it has been for the last six weeks. We’ve created enough chances and unfortunately made mistakes.
“We’ve made mistakes for their goal, in particular the first one and then we give them an own goal, which is tough to take.”
Huddersfield counterpart David Wagner found Diomande’s late leveller difficult to stomach, but could have few complaints with his side’s performance.
The draw ended a run of back-to-back defeats and the Terriers head coach was pleased by his team’s output.
“I am long enough in this business to know it is only over when the final whistle comes,” Wagner said.
“I think we were in a good way (at the end) but this is a very strong side.
“We were a little bit unlucky that there was a touch and we were not unable to avoid the header, but mistakes happen. It is part of the game.
“The timing was not the best today, but I am satisfied with the performance, with the reaction after the last game on Tuesday (when Huddersfield lost 3-0 at Middlesbrough) where we criticised ourselves.
“We asked ourselves to show the right reaction against another very strong side and this is what we did today.”