LONDON (Reuters) - When Hull City manager Mike Phelan writes a Christmas gift list, the first entry might well be a slice of good fortune judging by his side’s harsh 1-0 defeat at West Ham United on Saturday.
Hull will be bottom of the Premier League at the start of the festive period but could hardly believe their ill-luck as they were denied three times by the post at West Ham.
To add insult to injury the penalty Mark Noble converted late on to hand West Ham a fortuitous three points was awarded after an innocuous incident where Tom Huddlestone was deemed to have pushed Michail Antonio.
“It’s difficult when your team is doing ever so well, you feel for them because you want them to score the goals and get the credit,” said Phelan whose side have picked up only six points since winning their opening two games in August.
“If we can play like that, we just need a stroke of genius or luck to get us goals,” he told reporters.
“You have to have a wry smile on your face or you’d be very, very depressed. We didn’t score a goal, we should have had two or three goals. That’s the same story over the last few games.”
West Ham’s goal led a charmed life at the London Stadium where the hosts were jittery throughout and the fans restless.
Dieumerci Mbokani was the first to have his head in his hands when he latched on to a dreadful Aaron Cresswell back pass but saw his shot strike the woodwork.
Noble headed against his own post as he attempted to clear after the break and minutes later Andrew Robertson’s rasping drive thumped the upright.
Defender Harry Maguire also had a header cleared off the line as Hull peppered West Ham’s goal.
“It wasn’t good enough. We put ourselves in many ‘oh my God situations’,” said West Ham manager Slaven Bilic after his side eased their worries with a second straight 1-0 win.
“I would like us to play better but these couple of games (Burnley and Hull) were all about results.”
Phelan hopes some new players in the January transfer window can help their relegation fight but said finding the right ones would be hard.
“It is always an iffy time to do deals because we are at the bottom,” he said. “If anyone feels courageous and wants a challenge I am hoping this club can give it to them.”
Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Tony Jimenez