Hull City caretaker manager Mike Phelan has said the squad at his disposal – which contains just 13 senior players – will not be competitive in the Premier League this season.
Phelan, who is in charge at KCOM Stadium following the departure of former manager Steve Bruce, said that the pressure was on the club’s board to sign new players before the closure of the transfer window on August 31.
Hull owner Assem Allam met with Phelan to discuss the club’s future but the former Manchester United assistant was unable to shed any light on whether he would remain in charge beyond the opening day fixture against Leicester City or whether any new signings were imminent.
He said: “The discussion needs to stay a little bit private. We discussed targets and the club’s long-term future. Some of our targets have moved on. At the moment, the remit is the same – to take the team and prepare as best we can.
“Speculation has been there for a long time, not just over the past couple of days. I have to leave that with them. My future will be a further discussion depending on what happens.”
“The pressure is on to do some business. Can we compete as we are? I would say no. Most of the injuries are long-term.
“It’s a small squad. There definitely needs to be additions to this club.”
Phelan is without injured central defenders Alex Bruce and Michael Dawson for the visit of the Premier League champions, leaving Curtis Davies as the club’s only recognised centre-back.
Midfielder Jake Livermore will deputise in defence against Leicester but, with goalkeeper Allan McGregor and right-back Moses Odubajo also ruled out by injuries, Phelan appealed to the club to help alleviate the drastic shortage of players available to him.
“We’ve got to perform,” he added. “The players who are here have earned the right to play in this division and I’m sure they will want to play for themselves and the club.
“I know those players will give it their best.
“We’ve done everything that’s been asked of us. We need that bit of support, that help.
“We just want to get going, to get started.”