Phelan in charge for Hull’s opening game

11 Aug

Mike Phelan


Phelan won one cap for England as a player and was assistant manager to Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United for five years

Caretaker boss Mike Phelan will take charge of Hull in their Premier League opener against Leicester on Saturday.

The 53-year-old took temporary charge of the top-flight newcomers after Steve Bruce left the club on 22 July.

Phelan held lengthy talks with Hull vice-chairman Ehab Allam on Monday. Radio Humberside reports the agreement is for one game but could be extended.

A host of names have been linked with the Hull vacancy, including Wales boss Chris Coleman and Gianfranco Zola.

The Welsh Football Association rejected an approach from Hull to speak to Coleman, while former West Ham and Watford boss Zola has been interviewed.

Hull secured their return to the Premier League by beating Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 in last season’s Championship play-off final at Wembley.

But Bruce ended his four-year stay after a breakdown in his relationship with vice-chairman Ehab Allam.

Bruce’s departure has been just one chapter in a summer of turmoil at the KCOM Stadium.

Owners the Allam family opened talks with an interested party over the sale of the club in May but put takeover talks on hold until September to “ensure stability during the transfer window”.

However, Hull have so far been inactive in the transfer window despite the departure of several members of last season’s promotion-winning squad and a long injury list.

Long-term injuries to the likes of Allan McGregor, Alex Bruce, Moses Odubajo and Michael Dawson depleted Hull’s ranks in the weeks before Bruce’s exit, while Harry Maguire, Jake Livermore and Tom Huddlestone have also spent time in the treatment room.

They have since lost Mohamed Diame to Championship side Newcastle despite offering the Senegal midfielder a new, improved contract.

Curtis Davies is Phelan’s only fit senior centre-back on the eve of the new season, while the expected return of Shaun Maloney from a groin injury will still leave the club with just 13 fit senior players.

Hull fans are planning to protest against the club’s owners this weekend.

“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,” Phelan said in an interview with the Hull Daily Mail.

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