Hull City v West Brom: Mike Phelan concedes it is difficult to influence Tigers’ stayaway fans

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MANAGER Mike Phelan admits Hull City having set new record low home crowds in the Premier League in their last two outings is beyond his control.

The Tigers’ victory over Southampton on November 6 was watched by just 17,768 fans – around 800 down on the defeat to Stoke City a fortnight earlier.

Another low attendance is expected today for the visit of West Bromwich Albion to the KCOM Stadium as fans continue to show their disaffection with the club’s owners.

“All I can ask for is for full backing from the ones who sit on those seats and they get behind the players,” said Phelan when asked about the low crowds. “I am sure they will because we have not had a real issue with that,” Phelan said.

“No one wants to see empty seats at a Premier League football stadium, but that is where we are at. We need to do our job on the football field to maybe encourage more to come back.

“But I think it goes a little bit deeper than just the football.”

Hull’s League Cup tie against Newcastle United on Tuesday night also seems set to be watched by another low attendance despite ticket prices being slashed.

Phelan accepts this is a fact of life at a time when fans are so unhappy with the regime in charge at the club.

However, he has praised those who have turned up this season and hopes his players can today give those fans something to cheer against the Baggies.

“We can try and encourage them as much as we can to come into the ground to support the players, who are trying,” said the Hull head coach.

“We are in the big league, the Premier League, so I would have thought that was a nice incentive to get involved.

“But obviously they have their reasons. I can’t influence those who make that decision not to come.”