Tuesday 12 December 2017

Hull boss Mike Phelan holds no grudges with Sunderland counterpart David Moyes

Hull boss Mike Phelan is seeking victory over David Moyes' Sunderland
Hull boss Mike Phelan is seeking victory over David Moyes' Sunderland

Hull boss Mike Phelan says he has no point to prove to Sunderland counterpart David Moyes on Saturday when the two Premier League sides meet at the Stadium of Light.

Moyes opted not to retain Phelan as a coach when he took over from Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United in 2013, so ending the Hull manager's 18-year stay at Old Trafford.

Phelan's side can climb eight points clear of bottom club Sunderland with victory this weekend, but Phelan said he had no axe to grind against Moyes, whose own stay at United ended in acrimonious fashion when he was sacked after 10 months in charge.

"I've no point to prove," Phelan said. "I had a fantastic career at Manchester United as a player, assistant manager and as a coach.

"It's not for me to hold any grudges or anything like that. I was privileged and certainly enjoyed my 18 years there overall, which is more than most people get, especially in the game these days.

"I'm in a fortunate position. I enjoyed my time, but my time now is here and to try and bring a lot of that expertise that was in abundance at Manchester United to a club like Hull. That's what we're trying to do."

Phelan's side will bid for back-to-back league wins for the first time since the opening two games of the season without three first-choice strikers.

Will Keane has been ruled out for the season with cruciate knee ligament damage, Abel Hernandez is nursing a groin problem and Adama Diomande sits out the final game of a three-game ban.

It is a bitter blow for 23-year-old Keane, who suffered a similar injury while playing for England Under-19s in 2012.

The summer signing from Manchester United, who has had surgery, sustained his latest injury in the Tigers' home win against Southampton before the international break.

"It's really disappointing," Phelan said. "I'm disappointed for him, for his family because they've been through this entire situation before.

"To have it again in such a short space of time is not what the boy wanted, but he's a strong character and he will come back from it.

"He will recover and will have the best possible treatment and recuperation that's needed to get him back."

Democratic Republic of Congo international Dieumerci Mbokani is the only senior striker available to Phelan, who must decide whether to hand teenager Jarrod Bowen his first league start for the club or ask Robert Snodgrass or Ryan Mason to play in a forward role.

Phelan said plans were under way to strengthen his squad in the January transfer window and that continued takeover talks would not prove a hindrance as they had in the summer.

"I'm in constant contact with the owners and they've not mentioned anything to me other than keep doing what you're doing," he added.

"Let's build on what we've done and see where we are in December going into January.

"But business will get done. We're short in certain departments and of course we want to add to that."

Press Association

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