Phelan ready to lead Hull into battle against champions

Ian Watson
Mike Phelan: Wants to succeed Steve Bruce

Hull caretaker manager Mike Phelan looks increasingly likely to lead the club into the Premier League season and has started preparing the team to face Leicester on Saturday.

Phelan worked as number two to Steve Bruce, who resigned last month after four years at the helm, and has been overseeing the side for the past fortnight.

Hull were eager to bring Wales manager Chris Coleman to the KCOM Stadium and believed he was interested in the vacancy, but the Football Association of Wales rejected their approach last week and there have been no developments.

Roberto Martinez was also a target prior to taking over Belgium, and former West Ham and Watford boss Gianfranco Zola has been interviewed.

But it increasingly seems as though Phelan, who is eager to try his hand as a number one, will be given the chance to prove his credentials.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s former assistant has had no assurances from the Allam family but, with the 2016/17 campaign only days away, he is putting the necessary plans in place.

“As it stands at the moment, I possibly might be in charge against Leicester but you never know what a day can bring in football,” Phelan told the Hull Daily Mail.

“I’ve had no communication. I’m just thinking out loud really. I’m contracted to this football club and I’ve done what has been asked of me and I’m sure there’ll have to be some sort of discussion going into the week.

“There’s nothing different on my position. It’s just a case of doing my job and that’s all I can do until other people tell us what the next move is.

“I wouldn’t say this has been my worst pre-season because you always take something from it, but it’s certainly been a disruptive one.

“But for me it’s been reasonably comfortable because I’ve just done my job. I was asked to take the team in pre-season, prepare them, and along with the staff we’ve got left we’ve all conducted ourselves really well. We move forward now and see what the week brings.”

As well as finalising their managerial situation, Hull are hoping to bring in new arrivals on the playing staff.

A series of injuries have left them with a senior squad that is not big enough to fill the bench and a number of targets – some left behind by Bruce, who was frustrated by a lack of support in the transfer market – are being pursued.