Mike Phelan has this week been faced with one of the hardest tasks in football. Picking a team's morale back up after a humiliating defeat to a rival in a similar position. Yet the manager is focussed on formulating a response by his side as Hull prepare to host Stoke on Saturday.
"The players have trained hard and are definitely refocussed"
The defeat came on Phelan's first watch as official Hull City manager. He described the 6-1 hammering to Bournemouth as "a huge disappointment as it was unexpected" and "a one-off extreme result".
The manager explained how his players have been working hard in training this week to put the problems right. “We had a couple of hard days at the start of the week when we had to refocus and stop feeling sorry for ourselves. After that, it was all about building up towards this game against Stoke City. The players have trained hard and are definitely refocussed".
"We need the fans to be behind us"
Yet the manager is under no illusions that the Tigers will face a tough outfit in Stoke who are unbeaten in their last three matches. He explained “we don’t take anything for granted. We have to match Stoke and find a will and a way to get a result".
One of the ways Phelan feels his team can achieve such an outcome is by the home fans getting behind the side. The KCOM faithful have enjoyed just one point in the Yorkshire club's last six games but Phelan has urged they get behind the side. “We need the fans to be behind us as well because they can play their part, especially during the hard periods of the game, and be our extra player".
Phelan will be hoping his words can encourage Hull to victory, in an effort to prevent their continuous slide down the Premier League table as they linger just above the drop zone.