Hull 2 Leicester 1: Phelan full of praise for battling Tigers

Hull City's Abel Hernandez celebrates scoring.
Hull City's Abel Hernandez celebrates scoring.
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Caretaker manager Mike Phelan was indebted to his Hull players as they overcame off-field matters and an injury-hit squad to beat the reigning Premier League champions.

Robert Snodgrass’ strike in the 57th minute grabbed all three points for the Tigers despite having only 13 fit senior players for the game and meant Leicester became the first Premier League champions to lose the opening game of their title defence.

Adama Diomande put Hull in front just before the break but Riyad Mahrez’s penalty drew the Foxes level in the opening moments of the second half.

“I thought the players had it in them to produce something but all credit to the football players because they showed a lot of the determination,” Phelan told Sky Sports.

“They played the way I asked them to play. At this level, you have to master the ball, you have to take the ball and play with confidence, character and courage and I thought everything came out today.

“But it’s one game and we roll on to the next one.”

Asked what the future now held for him and the team, Phelan added: “The situation has not changed - I was asked to take pre-season and I’ve done that, I was asked if I would take the game today and I have done that now.

“Next week could be a big week because we still need to find players. We had a list, those players have gone but players may want to come to this club now - results, performances and attitudes change things.”

Tigers captain Curtis Davies echoed his manager’s words during a tough few weeks at the club.

“We always had (togetherness),” he said.

“But it gave us the extra boost because we tried to leave the onus with them, we were playing against the champions live on Sky and had nothing to lose.

“I thought we deserved the win and hopefully we can continue this with a few more players.”