Thursday 19 October 2017

Hull boss Phelan plays down fears over future of Snodgrass after Everton draw

Robert Snodgrass scored a stunning free-kick
Robert Snodgrass scored a stunning free-kick

Hull boss Mike Phelan played down speculation over winger Robert Snodgrass' future after seeing his side climb off the foot of the Premier League with a 2-2 draw against Everton.

Snodgrass had already hit the crossbar with one second-half free-kick when another brilliant effort appeared to have been enough to seal a rare Hull win.

David Marshall's own goal in first-half added time had cancelled out Michael Dawson's opener for the home side, who regained the lead through Snodgrass before Ross Barkley headed Everton's late equaliser.

Hull triggered a one-year option on the contracts of Snodgrass and five other players two days before Christmas Day, but the Scotland international has so far refused to sign a longer-term deal with the Tigers.

"The talk's all coming from you lot. It's not coming from me," said Phelan after his side's winless league run extended to eight matches.

"I've got a quality football player at the football club and at this level you need quality.

"What will happen is sometimes not what you want to happen, but I've got no issues with Robert.

"I've got no issues with any player at this club. I've not been told we are selling any players.

"So as far as I'm concerned he's in the team on Monday."

Snodgrass was central to another battling Hull display, but while the point was enough to lift them off the foot of the table, Phelan could not hide his frustration after Barkley's 84th-minute equaliser.

"I'm taking all sorts at the moment, but a point will do," he said.

"We contributed to the game, we were strong. We had to defend when we needed to and we scored a couple of goals.

"We're in the business to take positives. We are where we are because we've had some poor results.

"But on this occasion, and I've spoken to the players, the pleasing thing is we've taken a point from a game we've performed in again and that hasn't happened over the past three or four games."

Everton remain in seventh place and boss Ronald Koeman was content with a point following his side's sluggish start to the game.

"We showed great character to come back in the game," he said.

"(We were) lucky in how we got it back to 1-1, but we had really good chances before in the first half.

"The second half was better. We dominated the game, but sometimes you can't stop a player like Snodgrass.

"He was unlucky with the first (free-kick) and the second - we made a mistake with some sloppy defending and that was 2-1.

"But we came back and football-wise it was maybe one of our best games in creating chances."

Everton defender Seamus Coleman headed against a post in the first half and early in the second period Marshall saved superbly to push Romelu Lukaku's effort onto the crossbar.

"We were unlucky not to score more goals," Koeman added. "The chance of Romelu and the header of Coleman. We created a lot and should have scored more than two goals, but it's a fair result."

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