"All of the ingredients are there for it to be a competitive football match"
Phelan is hoping that his side can be competitive against Liverpool and produce a positive response after losing to Arsenal last weekend. He suggested, "We’re in that process of learning lessons against the big teams at the moment and there were a few lessons to learn from the game against Arsenal last weekend." The former midfielder is hoping that his side can build on what they have experienced and asked his side to "take those into the game on Saturday and give Liverpool a good game.”
Sir Alex Ferguson's former prodigy at Manchester United, Liverpool's greatest rivals, admitted he has found it difficult to prepare his side tactically in deference to deal with a flexible and dangerous Liverpool attack: "All of the ingredients are there for it to be a competitive football match. It’s about how we perform because we can’t do anything about how Liverpool prepare or set up."
Liverpool "look fantastic at the moment"
However Phelan is under no illusions as to how difficult the contest will be for his Tigers to find a result. He has urged his side to "enjoy" the occasion of "taking on a Liverpool team that looks fantastic at the moment". Despite admitting that the game will be a "challenge", Phelan claimed: "It's a great opportunity for us." He also suggested, “We’ve done well so far and the players have put a lot of effort in. It would be a shame to throw that away now by not performing."
The comments come as Mike Phelan's future at the club remains in the balance. Despite a club statement suggesting the caretaker manager had been offered a contract last week, no official announcement has been made to suggest Phelan has been given the job permanently.