Sport Soccer

Friday 2 December 2016

Hull boss Mike Phelan has no concerns about Robert Snodgrass' Scotland call-up

Published 04/11/2016 | 13:36

Robert Snodgrass, right, could return for Hull in their Premier League clash with Southampton on Sunday
Robert Snodgrass, right, could return for Hull in their Premier League clash with Southampton on Sunday

Hull boss Mike Phelan insists he will not cause a club versus country row over Robert Snodgrass after the winger returned from injury earlier than expected.

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The 29-year-old was initially ruled out for up to a month after picking up an ankle ligament injury in the 2-0 Premier League defeat to Stoke on October 22 and was expected to out until the end of November.

But Scotland manager Gordon Strachan surprisingly called-up the former Leeds and Norwich player in his 25-man squad for their World Cup qualifying match against England at Wembley on November 11.

The forward is in contention to return against Southampton on Sunday but Phelan has no qualms if Snodgrass starts against England with little match practice.

"I haven't had a conversation with Gordon, he (Snodgrass) has been called into the squad, like numerous other injured players have done as well," Phelan said.

"Right now it is a case of being available for Hull first and foremost. After that, I don't think there will be any issues in a week's time for him to be fit, whether this game has come early for him - it is something we may have to think about and discuss.

"We have Robert available today. He's done his rehab with the physios and he has showed signs of coming back into the group, whether that will be too late or whether he can do enough for Sunday just depends on what happens today and tomorrow.

"But for Scotland he will be fit and ready for that. If he shows signs that he is available then I have no problems with him playing in that game."

Defeat for the Tigers will make it a club-record seven successive Premier League losses but the Hull head coach is looking at the positives rather than the negatives.

"It could be a club record in one way but if you look back not so long ago we also set a club-record start in the Premier League as well so in our point of view we have proved we can win games at this level.

"I think it's a case of building on what happened previously. We are under no illusions for what is demanded at this level - we have performed in some games and in other games we haven't, but it's important that we are at home. We have the opportunity to show our worth and get a result."

The former Manchester United assistant also acknowledges it will be a tough test to break the drought against an in-form Saints side.

Southampton beat Inter Milan 2-1 in Thursday night's Europa League clash at St Mary's and have only lost once in their last six Premier League fixtures.

"They have a squad comparable to any top team in the Premier League," Phelan added.

"They are a club on the up, they are a team that is playing very, very well and we will have to be at our best to be competitive."

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