Monday, May 29, 2017

Additions make Hull more competitive – Phelan

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 9 Sep 2016

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Mike Phelan will enjoy the luxury of relative competition for places when he leads Hull City once more against Burnley on Saturday.

Caretaker boss Phelan led City to victory in their opening two Premier League matches versus champions Leicester City and at Swansea City, despite at one time having only 13 fit senior players.

It took a last-gasp goal from Marcus Rashford for Phelan’s former club Manchester United to leave the KCOM Stadium with the points before the international break, and Hull belatedly moved into the transfer market amid takeover turmoil.

Ryan Mason arrived from Tottenham as a club-record signing, while Dieumerci Mbokani, Markus Henriksen, James Weir, Will Keane and David Marshall have all bolstered the ranks ahead of the trip to Turf Moor.

“We’ve got the belief we can build on the start we’ve made,” Phelan told a pre-match news conference.

“We’ve now got a squad we feel is more competitive. Ryan Mason will be involved in the squad, as will many of the other new signings. 

“We have selection problems now but the players who started the season have done really well so it would be wrong to dismiss them.”

Hull have a poor record in recent years against Burnley, losing 10 of the last 12 meetings, but Phelan is unconcerned about his side’s history against the club he played for at the start of his career.

“The Burnley game is a big one,” said Phelan. “I don’t consider us favourites because they won the Championship title last season.

“We haven’t had the greatest of records at Burnley over the years for whatever reason but we will go there on Saturday and look to come away with a positive result.”

Phelan has led Hull on a caretaker basis since Steve Bruce’s departure three weeks before the Premier League season started and he revealed negotiations about his future are ongoing.

“We had a discussion last week and we are still talking about the situation,” Phelan said. “But it is really irrelevant as far as I am concerned from the point of view that it is all about preparing this team to play in the Premier League.

“Those discussions will carry on. It is not that it has ended – they are still open. But we just focus on the game.

“I have been sat in this chair for a number of weeks. The team is doing well. The players are performing to the best of their ability.

“We have now added to that group of players so I am looking forward to the challenge ahead. Why wouldn’t I want to be sitting in this chair a little bit more often?”

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