We've got to do better after Middlesbrough defeat, says Hull manager Mike Phelan
By Charlotte Marsh
Last Updated: 05/12/16 11:18pm
Hull manager Mike Phelan says his side have 'got to do better' after their 1-0 defeat to Middlesbrough on Monday evening.
Gaston Ramirez's strike on the hour mark sealed the victory for the hosts as the Tigers spent the majority of the game on the back foot.
Despite a slight resurgence after going behind - with Hull's best chances coming in the final minutes of the game - they were unable to steal a victory and the manager admits his side need to improve.
"The performance was definitely short from an attacking point of view," Phelan told Sky Sports.
"In the first half, we repelled a lot of their advances towards our goal but we stood pretty firm and you have to do that at certain times.
"When we tried to play the ball forward, we gave the ball away and we had very few targets to hit to get up the field and that resulted in the 0-0 at half-time.
"In the second half, very few chances happened from a Middlesbrough point of view and it was a case of 'can we change it, can we get Jarrod Bowen on, can we get some fresh legs' and I thought he did really well when he came on.
"What really disappoints me is that we concede a goal when we don't really have to as a set-piece and we all have jobs to do. We go through them day in, day out and on matchday and when we switch off a bit and don't do that responsibility well enough, then you get punished.
"We've got to do more and we've got to do better and we've got to stay focused on what our job is. We're in no worse of a spot than we were in at the start of the game but we know it's going to be a hard and difficult season."
Hull have been hit by a number of injuries to key players including Moses Odubajo, Abel Hernandez and Will Keane while striker Dieumerci Mbokani is serving a three-match suspension after a red card in midweek.
Speaking about his side's lack of goals, Phelan knows the Tigers need to be more potent in attack if they are to start picking up those all-important points.
"There's a lot of it [lack of goals] down to not having the firepower you need to have at this level," he added.
"We've got injuries, players are certainly playing out of position at times and we're having to chop and change quite a lot.
"It is very difficult to be an attacking force, but when we defend like we know we can defend and at times today when we had to, we did really well.
"When we went a goal down, we suddenly sprang into action a little bit and Middlesbrough started to slacken off a little bit but we created some chances."