"Certainly this season, Wigan got to that 40-point mark with eight or nine games to spare," the Irishman told The Hull Daily Mail.
"They didn't enjoy the best of results over the last couple of months but since [Steve] Bruce took over, they've done well. We have to look at clubs like Wigan and think if they've managed to do it, why can't we?
"We have to look forward now. We'll strengthen in the summer, that goes without saying. We've done well to stay up and to do that in your first year is massive, but I believe we will kick on and become a strong Premier League outfit."
Like Hull, Wigan are a club from a rugby league dominated town, where football has often been in the shade of impressive achievements of the town's adherents to the 13-man code, but Kilbane thinks that the potential is definitely there to put the East Yorkshire side on the footballing map.
To do that though, further recruitment will be necessary in the summer, he feels.
"Outside the top five or six clubs, any number of 14 teams can be in the relegation zone. That's how tight it is in the Premier League and if you're not careful you can be caught out very easily."We've got to try and progress now and look to bring new players in that will make us improve. Who knows what can happen then?"
Zack Wilson, Goal.com