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Hull won't survive without new players, warns Phelan

Hull City 2 Leicester City 1

By Rory Dollard

Published 15/08/2016

Hull City's Robert Snodgrass (left) and David Meyler celebrate after the Premier League match at the KCOM Stadium, Hull. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday August 13, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Hull. Photo credit should read: Nigel French/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or
Hull City's Robert Snodgrass (left) and David Meyler celebrate after the Premier League match at the KCOM Stadium, Hull. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday August 13, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Hull. Photo credit should read: Nigel French/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.

Hull caretaker manager Mike Phelan has warned the club's morale-boosting start to the season will be unsustainable without new signings.

The Tigers conjured the unlikeliest of 2-1 victories over champions Leicester in the first match of the Premier League season, to a background of fan protests, injury problems and Steve Bruce's departure.

Bruce was highly frustrated by the club's ponderous approach to recruitment before walking out and they remain the only top-flight side who have yet to sign a senior player.

On Saturday that left Phelan with just 13 first-teamers, augmented by five academy players on a threadbare bench - and he admits things cannot go on like that.

Whether new arrivals are signed off by the unpopular Allam family or the Chinese consortium currently involved in takeover talks, is not important to Phelan as long as they come.

"There has to be new players coming into a football club," he told BBC Radio 5 Live's Sportsweek.

"The club won't be able to sustain a push in the Premier League without the influx of new players.

"Everyone is doing it and Hull City are a little bit behind in bringing new players. Everything boils down to whatever stage the owners are at with the sale of the club but movement has to be made quickly.

"It's not too long to go now before the transfer deadline. It's important we get some answers."

Robert Snodgrass was the Tigers' match-winner against Leicester, burying a first-time drive in the 57th minute.

A remarkable synchronised bicycle kick from Adama Diomande and Abel Hernandez had already been cancelled out by Riyad Mahrez's penalty, and Snodgrass hailed the heart his team showed to hang in for victory.

"We were the underdogs and everybody was tipping us to lose the game but when that happens there is something about this squad that makes us dig deep," he said.

"We stick together as a unit -we don't let what people are saying about us affect us. We wanted to show what got us to the Premier League in the first place - hard work and determination -because that is what this squad is built on.

"We rolled our sleeves up and we were ready for a battle."

Foxes skipper Wes Morgan conceded his side were off the pace as they became the first ever Premier League champions to start their title defence with defeat.

"Obviously we're very disappointed. We showed a lot of rust and I felt we were second best throughout," he said.

"It wasn't meant to be but we need to learn from this.

"I felt we just didn't kick on from 1-1 and we probably dropped off if anything. Hull were winning first balls and we weren't picking up any second balls.

"We need to learn from the errors and get it right for the next game."

Hull: Jakupovic, Robertson, Davies, Meyler, Huddlestone, Hernandez, Snodgrass, Clucas, Livermore, Diomande, Elmohamady. Unused subs: Kuciak, Maloney, Tymon, Bowen, Luer, Olley, Clackstone

Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson (Ulloa, 84 mins), Hernandez, Morgan, Fuchs, Drinkwater, King (Amartey, 68 mins), Mahrez, Gray (Okazaki, 68 mins), Musa, Vardy. Unused subs: Zieler, Chilwell, Albrighton, Kapustka

Referee: Mike Dean (Wirral)

Man of the match: Curtis Davies

Match rating: 6/10

Belfast Telegraph

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