Hull City v Chelsea: '˜Goalposts have shifted a little bit and I need to consider things'

MIKE PHELAN insists his relationship with Hull City's owners remains 'very good' despite admitting attempts to agree a deal to take charge on a permanent basis have been held up because 'the goalposts have shifted a little bit'.

Hull caretaker manager Mike Phelan
Hull caretaker manager Mike Phelan

The 54-year-old has been in temporary charge of the Tigers for 71 days, four more than Sam Allardyce managed at the helm of the England team.

It was hoped after the Arsenal game a fortnight ago that agreement had finally been reached but, despite another meeting being held between Phelan and the owners in recent days, the wait goes on.

“I had a positive meeting before the Arsenal game and another before the Chelsea game but it has come to my attention that the goalposts have shifted a little bit and I need to consider things,” he said.

Pressed on what the stumbling block is, Phelan added: “At one point I thought I had a deal done. I said to you (after the Arsenal match) that I thought it was almost over the line but now it has changed a little bit. I have to consider those changes.

“Everyone is aware that the position I want is to be in charge of this football club.

“My relationship with the owners is very good. When I have the opportunity to have a cup of tea and a cake, like last week, it is excellent.”

Hull’s fans have made no secret at recent games of their desire to see Phelan named as the club’s next permanent manager.

Asked if he had a message for those supporters, Phelan added: “There is no cause for worry, it is all part of being in a football club. What you have to do is make sure that everything is in place to move things forward and to take things on.”

Former England central defender John Terry will be missing for Chelsea today through injury, as will John Obi Mikel, who has a muscle problem.