Wednesday 23 August 2017

Hull skipper backs Phelan as boss to end club's turmoil

Hull City 2 Leicester 1

Hull City’s Robert Snodgrass celebrates scoring their winning goal against Leicester City alongside Ahmed Elmohamady on Saturday.
Photo: Craig Brough/Action Images via Reuters
Hull City’s Robert Snodgrass celebrates scoring their winning goal against Leicester City alongside Ahmed Elmohamady on Saturday. Photo: Craig Brough/Action Images via Reuters

Jason Burt

Curtis Davies has pleaded with Hull City to end the turmoil at the newly-promoted club and also appoint Michael Phelan as their permanent manager.

Following the astonishing opening day victory over champions Leicester City, the Hull captain gave an insight into life at the crisis club, which is in the process of being sold by the Allam family to Chinese investors, and where there are just 13 fit senior players to make up the squad.

Leicester City's Ahmed Musa shoots during the Premier League match at the KCOM Stadium. Photo: Nigel French/PA Wire.
Leicester City's Ahmed Musa shoots during the Premier League match at the KCOM Stadium. Photo: Nigel French/PA Wire.

"It's going to be hard to do that week in, week out, because there's only so far you can get on emotion.

"You need legs. You need competition for places," the centre-half said.

"Whatever happens with announcing a manager, I hope it gets done soon so we can get some players in to help us out."

Unsurprisingly Davies endorsed Phelan, officially still assistant manager, and who thought of quitting when Steve Bruce decided he had to leave. "The way Mick's worked with us, the way he's spoken to us, the way he's conducted himself, he's made it clear he wants the job," Davies said.

Hull City's Robert Snodgrass (left) and David Meyler celebrate after the game. Photo: Nigel French/PA Wire.
Hull City's Robert Snodgrass (left) and David Meyler celebrate after the game. Photo: Nigel French/PA Wire.

"Most people would err on the side of caution in case they don't get it. "

He's said he wants the job, that he wants to be a manager, and we want someone to lead us... it's easy to duck out of it, to think, 'I'm not sure if I want the job.' He wants it. He wants to take on this mighty challenge."

Phelan, who Davies said was as "oblivious" as the players as to what was happening at Hull, claimed it was now a "big two weeks" for the club with a minimum "six, even more" signings required before the transfer window closes even if there is no change of ownership.

"When you face adversity, it brings you a little bit closer," Davies said.

"After the game, when we all get in a huddle and things like that, it's letting out a bit of frustration in terms of what's gone on behind the scenes and the fact that we've come through it and got a victory."

It was a victory no one expected; not least Leicester who looked shell-shocked as they became the first champions since 1989 to lose their opening league fixture.

"Everyone expected them to beat us, and maybe that pressure helped us," Davies said.

The issue of dealing with pressure was one manager Claudio Ranieri expected as he tried to explain the defeat, speaking of his players being "nervous", that Hull were "smarter than us" and that his club had to "restart" after last season's extraordinary feat.

Leicester will learn that, and they will also analyse the unusual nature - for them - of both goals they conceded.

The first, on half-time, came from Davies winning a header from a corner, forcing a fine parry from Kasper Schmeichel, with Adama Diomande and Abel Hernandez combining in a joint overhead kick which went in off the crossbar.

The second came when a Schmeichel throw-out was intercepted, with Ahmed Elmohamady and Robert Snodgrass working together for the former's dangerous cross to be turned out. The ball fell to Snodgrass who half-volleyed low and hard from the edge of the area.

In between Leicester were awarded a controversial penalty by the referee Mike Dean - dispatched by Riyad Mahrez - after Demarai Gray fell inside the area even though Tom Huddlestone's initial foul was outside. It ultimately proved immaterial. (© Daily Telegraph , London)

Telegraph.co.uk

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