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Shaun Maloney stresses importance of Hull rebuilding relationship with fans

Hull's Shaun Maloney has urged the club to rebuild their relationship with their supporters following their relegation to the Sky Bet Championship.

Sunday's 4-0 defeat at Crystal Palace confirmed they would finish the Premier League season in 18th place, a year after their promotion via the play-offs, and two after their previous relegation.

Since last summer's promotion, Hull have had three managers amid a period of significant instability that did much to contribute towards their disappointing season.

They began 2016/17 as favourites for relegation, with Mike Phelan as caretaker manager, and with only 13 fit senior players as the club's supporters criticised the Allam family's ownership.

Phelan's successor Marco Silva is expected to leave with his contract due to expire this summer, despite the Portuguese having the option of a further year, and asked if the club required some stability midfielder Maloney responded: "That's a fair comment.

"I've not been at the club that long, two years. I have had two years of living in the city so you do notice there is a separation between the supporters and the ownership.

"Those two parties - I don't know what's gone on before - but in an ideal world it would be great if they could come closer together because it's a good club, I know from the outside it might seem a different part of the country in the eyes of the media.

"But it's a good club and if it's run well it could be a really stable club. It's a good place to play and fingers crossed it happens in the future."

The Allams, who bought the club in December 2010 when they were struggling financially, say they have been open to offers to sell since April 2014 when the Football Association rejected their request to change the club's name to Hull Tigers, a move the supporters opposed.

A positive recent development came with the January appointment of the 39-year-old Silva, who on Sunday refused to commit his future to the club, and Maloney, 34, said: "He's an excellent manager.

"I'm sure the owner will speak to him in the next couple of days and those discussions we aren't privy to. But he has been excellent for us since January and he has been a real pleasure to work for.

"Right at this minute there was not much said (by the players about Silva's future). I guess we will find out in the next few days and weeks. I would imagine the club would be absolutely desperate to keep him.

"The manager coming in in January gave us hope which I don't really think we had the right to have, but he gave us that.

"The start of the season, that would definitely be one of the reasons (we have been relegated), the preparation for the season wasn't good enough.

"That will definitely be one of the reasons but there are numerous and it's really difficult to pinpoint one.

"I'm sure people within the club will know why it went wrong and know what to do. And hopefully we will be back here again."

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