January 3, 2017 / 9:59 PM / 8 months ago

Basement club Hull sack boss Phelan

Britain Football Soccer - West Bromwich Albion v Hull City - Premier League - The Hawthorns - 2/1/17 Hull City manager Mike Phelan looks dejected Reuters / Darren Staples

LONDON (Reuters) - Relegation strugglers Hull City sacked Mike Phelan as manager on Tuesday less than three months after appointing him on a permanent basis.

The club issued a statement confirming Phelan's departure after he oversaw a run of nine games without a win that plunged them to the bottom of the Premier League.

"The club can announce this evening that it has parted company with Head Coach Mike Phelan," Hull said on their website.

"The search for a replacement has begun and an announcement will be made in due course."

Phelan, who was a former assistant to Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, is the third Premier League manager to lose his job in less than two weeks, after Alan Pardew was sacked by Crystal Palace and Bob Bradley by Swansea City at the end of last year.

Hull have been in a permanent state of turmoil since winning promotion to the Premier League via the playoffs last May.

Within weeks, manager Steve Bruce had resigned and the club seemed set for a takeover after their seriously ill owner Assem Allam, who had long been at loggerheads with supporters after seeking to change the club's name, announced his intention to sell up.

Yet the new investment never came and Phelan, who was Bruce's assistant, stepped up to be caretaker boss, beginning the season with successive wins over Leicester and Swansea despite having just 13 senior players at his disposal.

Buoyed by that success, Hull handed him a permanent contract in October, but a series of injuries to key players, including strikers Will Keane and Abel Hernandez, took their toll and Hull soon dropped down the table.

Although they have reached the League Cup semi-final, where they face Manchester United over two legs later this month, their last Premier League victory was against Southampton on Nov. 6, coincidentally when leading scorer Hernandez went off injured.

The Uruguayan has not played since and Hull, who were beaten 3-1 by West Bromwich Albion on Monday, have taken just seven points from their last 54.

Swansea's 2-1 win over Crystal Palace on Tuesday dropped the Yorkshire side to the bottom of the Premier League.

Gary Rowett, the former Birmingham City manager, was an early favourite with British bookmakers to replace Phelan.

Reporting by Neil Robinson; Editing by Toby Davis

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