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Markus Henriksen targets mid-table finish for Hull after appointing Mike Phelan

Published 14/10/2016

Markus Henriksen is looking up the table
Markus Henriksen is looking up the table

Hull midfielder Markus Henriksen is aiming for a mid-table finish this season now the Premier League club have appointed Mike Phelan as permanent boss.

Phelan has agreed a deal until the end of the season after 12 weeks as caretaker manager and Norway international Henriksen is confident the 54-year-old can steer them clear of relegation trouble.

"To be honest, with the quality we have we should stay in the league and that's our first goal," said Henriksen, 24, who arrived this summer from AZ Alkmaar on loan in a deal that will become permanent in January.

"I think also it's possible to be fighting for the middle of the table."

Phelan was named manager of the month for August after Hull won their first two games back in the top flight.

A narrow loss to Manchester United in their next league game and then a draw at Burnley were followed by successive defeats to Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea.

The Tigers will bid to avoid a fourth straight league defeat on Saturday at Bournemouth and then face Stoke and Watford in their next two Premier League encounters.

"Now we have to show what we are made of," Henriksen said. "Now it's the games we have to take the points (from).

"We learned a lot from the previous games, a little bit of smartness, how to react, especially with the two very stupid red cards at the beginning of the games.

"I also think the first half at Chelsea showed that we're a good side and all the players and staff are very much looking forward to the upcoming games."

Phelan's appointment has been welcomed by the majority of Hull fans, while Henriksen said all the players and staff were relieved protracted negotiations had finally been resolved.

"Everybody's very happy," he added. "I think everybody here at Hull is very satisfied.

"I think it's a relief for every player now, especially for Mike as well. There's been a lot of backwards and forwards with his contract and now when everything is signed I think everyone is very happy.

" He's a very good coach and a big reason why I signed for this club. I heard a lot about him and I knew he also wanted me.

"The way he gives all the players confidence, he's a very good guy and a very good manager."

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