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Tuesday 25 July 2017

'Pretty boys' are no good in relegation scrap, unhappy Phelan warns Hull

Robert Snodgrass (on the floor) opened the scoring for Hull before West Brom recovered to win 3-1.
Robert Snodgrass (on the floor) opened the scoring for Hull before West Brom recovered to win 3-1.

Hull boss Mike Phelan questioned the Tigers' "pretty boys" after they slipped to another damaging defeat at West Brom.

The visitors gifted the Baggies two goals in their 3-1 loss at The Hawthorns, their ninth game without a win in the Premier League.

Chris Brunt, Gareth McAuley and James Morrison capitalised on poor defending to complete a comeback win for Albion.

Robert Snodgrass opened the scoring, but Hull fell apart after allowing Brunt a free header to equalise four minutes after the break.

The second-bottom Tigers are three points from the safety line and Phelan was left frustrated with their fragility.

"We have to be more courageous and braver and sometimes take a knock. You can't just be a pretty boy, you have to get your body or something on it," he said.

"When it is a one-on-one situation you have to carry out that duty. For 45 minutes that was probably as good as we have played.

"We got the goal and we were in control, but the game doesn't last 45 minutes and we suffered again.

"You can't win games by playing nice neat football, you have to do the dirty bits at the other end.

"There's only so much we can prepare and the staff do it really well and the players are aware of that. After the game it's annoying they didn't carry those bits of detail out."

Hull are without an away win in the league since August, with Snodgrass' goal their first in the top flight outside the KCOM Stadium since October, and Phelan knows he needs January reinforcements.

"I'll be having those conversations again, we have to look at it, we are now into the month so hopefully we're not waiting until the 28th or 29th to do our business," he added.

Albion are eighth following their second-best points haul, 29, after 20 Premier League games and they continue to mount an unlikely Europa League challenge.

This victory followed a 2-1 win at Southampton on Saturday and boss Tony Pulis rejected any talk of players being tired after two games in 48 hours.

"If you tell people they're tired, they'll be tired - you don't have to do too much to convince them," he said. "Two games in three days playing professional football, for the money they get?

"Go and ask their grandfathers what it was like working seven days a week down the pit, 12 hour days, they never got tired. We have done it right, but never mentioned they'd be tired.

"Have a look around, a couple of our big (local) rivals have lost in the Championship, so don't take anything for granted.

"As soon as you take your foot off the pedal, apart from the top six, the rest of us have to be on it every game to get a result."

Jonny Evans came off with a calf problem and, with Allan Nyom due to travel to link up with Cameroon for the African Nations Cup, Pulis admitted the injury may change his transfer policy.

He added: "I don't want to bring players in for the sake of it, although, looking at Jonny, and Nyom going away, we might have to get a couple of defenders in which we weren't expecting to do."

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