The race for Hull manager heats up as the players begin to shift through the gears

Hull only have 14 fit first team players available and are without a manager, but are unbeaten in four pre-season friendlies.

The race for Hull manager heats up as the players begin to shift through the gears
Hull have not conceded in four pre-season fixtures (photo: Hull Daily Mail)

With Steve Bruce announcing his resignation as Hull City manager on Friday afternoon, a number of candidates have put their name forward to take over the role just 24 hours since the news was released.

Phelan the favourite

Following the Tigers' latest pre-season victory against Scunthorpe on Saturday afternoon, caretaker manager Mike Phelan was not prepared to rule himself out of the running for the vacant position. Favourite with the bookmakers and former assistant of Bruce and previously Sir Alex Ferguson, Phelan explained "I don't know what's round the corner but watch this space".

Phelan was not keen to draw on any speculation claiming "I've got to make sure the players are fit and ready for the Premier League season". Rumours have suggested that Bruce fell out with the Allam family, current owners of Hull City, though Phelan explained "there have been things going on during pre-season, but that is for you to find out and me not to say anything". Hull fans were quick to express their displeasure during Saturday's fixture chanting "Allam out" throughout the game.

A former disciple of Phelan and ex-teammate of Bruce, Ryan Giggs, has also been tipped to take over the reigns at the KCOM stadium. Giggs explained "of course I want to be manager" though also expressed that he had "received no offers". The Manchester United links do not end there, with Roy Keane and former assistant manager Steve McLaren also believed to be in with a chance of landing the job, whilst Roberto Martinez remains an outside possibility.

Three individuals from the Manchester United treble winning playing and coaching staff have been linked with becoming Hull manager (photo : Getty Images)
Three individuals from the Manchester United treble winning playing and coaching staff have been linked with becoming Hull manager (photo : Getty Images)

An improved performance irons out Scunthorpe

On the pitch the standard of opposition and quality of performances have both been gradually improving. Following a draw against Grimsby Town and victories against North Ferriby United and Mansfield Town, there were plenty of opportunities for the 14 fit first teamers and a handful of youngsters against Scunthorpe United.

After conservative performances in their previous three outings, Hull were a lot more aggressive and clinical, with Mo Diame pulling the strings in midfield once more. Sam Clucas and Diame both had opportunities before Robert Snodgrass released Shaun Maloney to give the visitors the lead. Curtis Davies and Diame forced saves either side of the break, before a Clucas cross found Abel Hernandez who secured the 2-0 victory. 

Hull now head to Barnsley and Nottingham Forest before a trip to Austria in the only certainties of their pre-season preparation for a return to the Premier League.