Hull chief: Phelan sacking was a necessity

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Ehab Allam has defended the club's decision to axe their head coach with wins proving hard to come by since the beginning of 2016-17

Hull City vice-chairman Ehab Allam insists sacking Mike Phelan was a necessity to survive Premier League relegation this season.

Hull parted ways with Phelan on Tuesday, with the club bottom of the table and six points adrift of safety following their 3-1 defeat at West Brom.

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Phelan's departure ended his brief 83-day reign in charge as head coach, having only been appointed on a permanent basis in October.

There has been backlash toward Allam and Co. following Phelan's exit, with fans feeling in the dark and disenchanted amid a lack of investment.

Allam, however, defended Hull's decision to axe Phelan, while revealing a replacement is set to be named before Saturday's FA Cup third round tie with Swansea City.

"It was after a great amount of consideration that we took the decision to part company with Mike Phelan on Tuesday and I would like to place on record my thanks to Mike for his efforts during his period as head coach," Allam said in a statement. 

"Mike initially took on the role at a difficult time last summer, inheriting a small squad that had lost a number of players to injury, and with the transfer window already in full swing. He would also go on to lose a number of key backroom team members through no fault of his own. 

"Despite the difficult circumstances, the team made a positive start to the season and money was made available to strengthen the squad ahead of the transfer deadline with a significant investment made in the signing of six new players. 

"However, results have been on the decline since that time and although there have been some positive performances in recent weeks, we sit bottom of the Premier League and I felt now was the right time to take a fresh approach and give this club and squad of players the best possible chance of retaining Premier League status. I expect to have a new management team in place ahead of the weekend.

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"I maintain the belief that the current squad, with two or three key additions during the current transfer window, is good enough to survive in this division. I acknowledge that our position in the table will make recruitment more challenging, however all of our efforts are now focussed on enhancing the existing squad with Premier League survival our priority. 

"As you will be aware, we recently activated the club's option to extend the contracts of some of our key players for a further year. We feel that the nucleus of the current squad combined with some new additions during this important transfer window will give us the best possible chance of achieving survival in the coming months."

Hull are back in action on Saturday with a FA Cup third round clash against fellow league strugglers Swansea City.

They have a League Cup semi-final first leg to look forward to three days later before hosting Bournemouth on January 14 in their first Premier League fixture since Phelan's sacking.

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