Hull City have announced that experienced campaigner Neil McDonald will fill the vacant assistant head coach role, joining Mike Phelan in the technical area on Tuesday evening against Bristol City.
"Neil brings a wealth of football experience"
The position had been left open following Stephen Clemence's decision to join former manager Steve Bruce at Aston Villa last week, with many believing that Phelan would promote from within his small set of coaching staff. Yet the Tigers' new permanent manager surprised many as he turned to former West Ham coach McDonald.
In a coaching career that has taken him to Bolton Wanderers, Blackburn Rovers, Carlisle United and Blackpool in various capacities, McDonald offers an underlying degree of experience that Phelan is delighted to integrate within the club. The manager admitted “it was important that we added to the backroom staff here and Neil brings a wealth of football experience which will be of huge importance as the season progresses".
"We can't have any sulking"
The news comes following the continuation of Hull's downward spiral that saw them slip into the relegation zone after defeat to Stoke City on Saturday. Yet captain Michael Dawson has explained how the team need to "stick together" and "we can't have any sulking".
Dawson believes that teamwork will be the contributing factor to a Hull revival. “We have to go again. When you’re on a run like we’re on, it’s hard and confidence suffers but we know there is only one way to get it back and that is by winning football matches together as a group".
After a three month injury lay-off, the Tigers will be delighted to see Dawson back in action after completing 90 minutes at the weekend and he believes the turnaround can happen straight away. He explained “all we can do now is go again on Tuesday night against Bristol City in the cup and try to get back to winning ways”.