Mike Phelan says his Hull players will "give it their all" against Leicester City

Phelan is confident he can rely on his players to put in the effort and commitment as they begin their 2016/17 campaign.

Mike Phelan says his Hull players will "give it their all" against Leicester City
Phelan faces the press on Friday (photo : Twitter / Hull City)

With Hull City no closer to naming a new manager, Mike Phelan is set to continue overseeing the Tigers as they host champions Leicester City on Saturday lunchtime.

"It's not the hardest team in the world to pick"

Hull have encountered a difficult pre-season leaving Phelan with a small squad to work with. He admitted: "It's not the hardest team in the world to pick but I know the players will give it their all." 

The caretaker manager has problems in defence where likely captain Curtis Davies is the "only recognised centre-back fit to play" against reigning champions Leicester. Phelan also insisted: "Jake Livermore will partner him tomorrow."

Despite "Allan McGregor, Alex Bruce, Moses Odubajo and Michael Dawson remaining on the long-term injury list", Phelan did have positive news with the suggestion that Harry Maguire "could be back in action within the next fortnight", while Shaun Maloney and Greg Luer "are both fit and in contention to play" in their league opener.

There's still plenty of smiles at the training ground (photo : Twitter / Hull City)
There's still plenty of smiles at the training ground. (Photo: Twitter / Hull City)

"We look forward to taking on the champions"

Leicester have been written off by many fans and pundits already this season, after a remarkable 2015-16 campaign that saw them win the league despite beginning the season as relegation favourites.

Manager Claudio Ranieri was rarely drawn on the possibility of winning the league during his press conferences last season and has started with a similar stand this week. The Italian claimed: "We must forget last season. The target is to get to 40 points."

Yet Hull could not have asked for a much harder opening tie of their return to the top flight of English football, particularly after such a turbulent pre-season.

However first team coach Stephen Clemence declared they are relishing a tough start, saying: "It's not been easy this pre-season. The players have been great though. We look forward to taking on the champions Leicester City tomorrow."