Thursday 8 December 2016

Hull should follow Southampton model for success - Mike Phelan

Published 05/11/2016 | 22:36

Mike Phelan believes a long-term strategy similar to Southampton's could benefit Hull
Mike Phelan believes a long-term strategy similar to Southampton's could benefit Hull

Mike Phelan believes Hull should aspire to a model similar to Sunday's Premier League opponents Southampton for the long-term stability of the club.

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The Tigers have struggled with off-the-field matters with fans protesting at the ownership of the club, while a takeover bid by a Chinese and Hong Kong consortium is not looking any closer to completion.

Former boss Steve Bruce left the club by mutual consent just three weeks before the new season, which began without Hull having signed a senior player in the transfer window, and Phelan in temporary charge.

Phelan was eventually handed the manager's job full-time last month, but while Hull have endured a torrid return to the top-flight the Saints have continued to integrate youth team players into the first team.

The likes of Matthew T argett, Lloyd Isgrove and Sam McQueen have all started in recent matches as the St Mary's club have mixed domestic and European ambitions.

Phelan believes it can only be positive for Hull to adopt a strategy which replicates their south-coast rivals, who beat Italian heavyweights Inter Milan in midweek.

"Looking at clubs like Southampton, it's terrific what they've done," he said.

"From my point of view, looking from a Hull City end, that's the model you want to follow and interpret in the right way. That's what Hull could be if everything is in place and pulling in the right direction.

"There is scope for Hull to be that model. There are others, like Stoke, who have developed over the years to become established in the Premier League.

"The difficulty is how you put that in place and whether or not you get the opportunity and time to do it.

"Southampton have proved over a period of time that they can produce. They've got fantastic facilities and a team that's extremely competitive in the Premier League.

"Infrastructure is massive but having an idea and a plan, to be able to put that plan into operation, is just as important.

"That comes through winning and losing, giving people opportunities at this level. Young players are refreshing when you give them the opportunity in a first-team match."

Phelan also revealed he was interested in Southampton forward Jay Rodriguez during the summer transfer window, but he could not get the deal over the line.

"We looked at a lot of forwards in the window," he said.

"The only problem was that we did all our business in one day. You're dipping in and out of different hats.

"He was one of a few we were discussing but it was not one we could really do."

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