Thursday, March 30, 2017

Snodgrass staying unless special offer received – Silva

SoccerNews in FA Cup 7 Jan 2017

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Marco Silva says it will take “something special” to prise Robert Snodgrass away from Hull City, amid interest from West Ham.

Silva led the Tigers to a 2-0 win over fellow Premier League strugglers Swansea City in the FA Cup third round, taking charge for the first time after replacing Mike Phelan as head coach.

Though City sit bottom of the Premier League, Snodgrass has enjoyed a stellar season personally, scoring seven league goals to keep Hull in touch at the bottom.

West Ham reportedly had a £3million bid for the Scotland playmaker rejected this week and Silva is determined to keep his key man at the KCOM Stadium.

“All I’m thinking at this moment is how to improve the team with the players,” he told BBC Humberside.

“In my mind it is never to sell the players, our players play more in our team because we need to improve our team.

“Snodgrass is a very good player he’s very, very important for us and we need him.”

Asked if the club would consider selling the Scot in January, Silva said: “No, no, no. Only if something special [is offered] but in this moment, no.”

Silva suggested that defensive reinforcements will be at the top of his priorities in the market after ending the game with Jake Livermore and Tom Huddlestone paired at the centre of a defence comprised of three regular midfielders after Michael Dawson went off injured, with Curtis Davies and Harry Maguire missing the match with fitness concerns.

The former Olympiacos boss can hardly afford such a patchwork backline in his next match, Tuesday’s EFL Cup semi-final first leg at Manchester United.

“I don’t know if it’s possible that Michael will play against Man United, I need to talk to the doctors,” Silva added.

“I hope [Davies and Maguire will be fit] because it’s not normal to play with a right-back [David Meyler], it’s a midfielder. 

“Livermore [at centre-back], he’s a midfielder and we ended the game with Huddlestone [in defence], he’s a midfielder. 

“Our back line, only [Andy] Robertson is a defender and this is not normal, we need to recover our players and we need solutions in the market to help the team.”

Swansea were also led by their new boss for the first time, but Paul Clement was left to rue an inability to get the result he felt the Welsh club’s efforts deserved.

“I wanted to win this game, so did the players, and most importantly I wanted a performance,” Clement said.

“I felt for long periods I got that performance. I thought the game was quite even, and maybe we even had better chances. 

“We had some really good chances – Ki Sung-yueng in the first half, Nathan Dyer and Fernando Llorente in the second – and we have to take those.”

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