Old friends Mark Hughes and Mike Phelan will be in opposite dug outs on Saturday. Having spent their playing days together at Old Trafford, the two will go head-to-head at the KC Stadium.
It’s been a rollercoaster of a start to the season for Hull City. Going from off-field turmoil to beating the Champions, to not being able to buy a win.
Manager Mike Phelan will take charge of his first home game since taking over the responsibility full-time last week.
The 6-1 defeat away at Bournemouth last Saturday will live in the memory for the wrong reasons, but Mark Hughes feels for him and his position.
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“He’s a great guy…I’m pleased”
Hughes and Phelan played together at Manchester United, in the early years of Sir Alex Ferguson’s tenure.
From 1989 to 1994, they played a part in Premier League and FA Cup winning sides. The two remain friends and Hughes was happy for his old comrade…
"He’s a good guy and a good coach, and has had an impact since Steve Bruce left. He’s clearly thought of well there, and given the time he’ll stamp his mark on the team."
For Phelan and Hull, it’s been a bit of rocky ride.
Hull started the season in surprise fashion. A win over the champions, Leicester, was backed up by a 0-2 win away at Swansea.
Since those wins however the Tigers have only won once; a 2-1 win over – believe it or not – Stoke City in the EFL Cup.
Hull’s recent league form has been shocking, shipping 17 goals in four games. Phelan has done his best to change the fortunes at the club since the departure of Bruce but isn’t helped with off-field issues.
Hughes, along with the rest of the football world, is fully aware of the challenges this can b
"It’s difficult because there seems to be a lot of off-field distractions, with maybe a change of ownership in the offing. He has to deal with that, it isn’t easy."
Matchday focus for Mark Hughes
As ever, off-field attachments will be put on the back-burner come Saturday.
Hughes will be hoping that Stoke can continue to grow their momentum while Phelan will be hoping to get a first win under his belt.
You can read the preview of Stoke’s clash with Hull City here: