Sport Soccer

Thursday 22 February 2018

Marco Silva's task at Hull far from mission impossible, says Windass

Marco Silva will be aiming to keep Hull in the Premier League
Marco Silva will be aiming to keep Hull in the Premier League

Hull's new head coach Marco Silva has been backed to keep the club in the Premier League by former fans' favourite Dean Windass.

Former Sporting Lisbon and Olympiacos coach Silva, 39, was installed by the Tigers on Thursday, little more than 36 hours after they sacked Mike Phelan.

Silva, who has been joined at the KCOM Stadium by assistant head coach Joao Pedro Sousa, first-team coach Goncalo Pedro and goalkeeping coach Hugo Oliveira, faces a daunting job to haul Hull off the foot of the table.

But Tigers vice-chairman Ehab Allam said the club was working hard "to deliver some key additions" during the transfer window and Windass dismissed the notion Silva has taken on mission impossible.

"I don't think it is," Windass told Press Association Sport. "You look at the table and were are bottom, but we're not that far away.

"A couple of wins can turn it round quickly and you always get a reaction from the players when a new manager comes in.

"I don't think it is a tough task. We don't know how much money there is to spend, but a couple of new players is crucial if they are to stay up.

"We've not been scoring goals and that's what wins you games, so for me, and it's not rocket science, we need a centre forward.

"Let's hope we get one or two in during January and they can get the goals because that's where we've been struggling this season."

Silva, Hull's third head coach since they won promotion back to the top flight in May, took his first squad session alongside his coaching staff at the club's Cottingham training ground on Thursday lunchtime.

He will take charge of his first game on Saturday at the KCOM against Swansea in the third round of the FA Cup after signing a deal until the end of the current season.

Silva guided Olympiacos to the Greek title in his sole season in charge before leaving the club in the summer, citing personal reasons for his departure.

He launched his coaching career at Estoril after spending most of his playing days in Portugal's lower divisions.

The former defender won promotion to the Portuguese top flight in 2012 with Estoril, who finished fifth in their first season back in the top division to qualify for the Europa League and were then in fourth place the following campaign when Silva left to become coach at Sporting Lisbon.

He steered Sporting to a third-placed finish in the 2014/15 season and won the Portuguese Cup, but was sacked four days later, reportedly for not wearing the club's official suit during a match in a previous round.

Silva must first win over the majority of Tigers fans, who were fully supportive of Phelan, despite the club's poor showing this season, and blame the club's owners for the Tigers' plight.

Owner Assem Allam has presided over two promotions to the top flight and an FA Cup final appearance since rescuing the club from financial turmoil six years ago.

But the Egyptian-born businessman put the club up for sale in 2014 after the FA rejected his bid to change their name to Hull Tigers, a move which was vehemently opposed by the majority of Hull's supporters.

He has since been accused of under-investment and has come under increasing pressure from supporters, whose discontent with how the club was being run intensified following the departure of Steve Bruce in July.

"Silva's got a very good track record," added Windass, currently employed as Hull's official ambassador.

"He's only 39 but has been successful since he's been a coach, so let's hope that he can settle quickly into English football and keep Hull City in the Premier League.

"Football moves on very quickly. Unfortunately for Mike, he got the sack, but that's the nature of football and results dictate whether you keep your job or not.

"Marco's arrival is a fresh start and we need to get behind him and the team."

Press Association

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