Hull City manager Mike Phelan was left "disappointed" as his side failed to take a handful of chances and were punished for errors in defence as fellow strugglers Sunderland gained ground on the Tigers in ther Premier League.
"We know we have to be more clinical at the attacking end of the field"
Phelan suggested that being without Abel Hernandez and Will Keane was not an excuse for failing to register a goal on Saturday afternoon. The manager claimed “yes we’re short in that area but we created quite a few chances in this game and had we taken one of those early on it might have given us a bit more confidence".
Previously dropped from the coaching staff of opposite number David Moyes, Phelan admitted "we know we have to be more clinical at the attacking end of the field", particularly in the top flight where you will be punished. He added “when you don’t take those chances, the likelihood is that you’re going to come under pressure and we succumbed to that".
"Our approach to the game was positive"
The passionate figure of the former midfielder also suggested his team need to tighten up in defence, particularly with the likes of Jermain Defoe in close proximity. “We went in at half time 1-0 down through a mistake where we’ve lost our defensive shape to let a master finisher take his opportunity".
Phelan felt his side still could have taken something from the game even at that point, claiming “we still felt as though we were in the game at that point", before “we then conceded two poor goals from our point of view".
However the Hull manager continues to seek the positives as is becoming a trademark for the struggling boss. “Our approach to the game was positive and I thought, particularly in the first half, we were on the front foot".
The Tigers continue to sit in the relegation zone on ten points in 18th place.