(Reuters) - Hull City manager Mike Phelan has told his team that there is no point sulking about their current struggles as victory over West Ham United on Saturday could kick-start a charge out of the relegation zone.
Hull, who are second bottom in the Premier League with three wins and 10 defeats from 16 games, travel to 15th-placed West Ham, who are fighting their own battle to pull clear of the drop zone.
Phelan’s team have not won in the league since the start of November and only once away from home all season, but have managed back-to-back draws in their last two home games.
“A few victories would be great. We find ourselves in a position that’s tight,” Phelan told a news conference on Friday.
”One win can give you that extra bit of confidence. We’ve languished in that area for a while but we’ve shown recently that we have been progressive and hopefully we can get one win to get us out of that.
“Hopefully the players get the presents they want (for Christmas) and I’ll get what I want.”
Hull were beaten 3-0 by Tottenham Hotspur in midweek, but Phelan put the defeat down to a failure to convert their chances, while calling on his players to express themselves against West Ham.
”I thought we went about our business really well at Spurs,“ he added. ”We had opportunities to score, but unfortunately we didn’t take them.
“Our heads won’t dip though. There’s no point sulking about things that have happened. We look forward to the next game... I want my team to express themselves and take the game to West Ham tomorrow.”
The manager is anticipating a busy transfer window in January as he looks to shore up his squad and avoid being sent back down to the Championship straight after winning promotion to the top flight.
”The phone bill is going through the roof,“ he said. ”We’re watching a lot of players. Everything boils down to ‘do you want to spend or do you go into the loan market’?
Striker Dieumerci Mbokani is back from suspension for the trip to the London Stadium and Phelan has no fresh injury concerns after the midweek match.
However, Abel Hernandez, Allan McGregor, Alex Bruce, Moses Odubajo, Will Keane and Greg Luer are all still out injured.
Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis