With only 13 days to go before the Hull v Newcastle quarter-final, injury problems are mounting for the home side.
Hull City began the season with just 13 fit senior squad members but the return to fitness of several players along with some signings late in the transfer window eased the situation initially.
However, the fallout from victory over Southampton before the international break, has left them almost back at square one.
Striker Abel Hernandez picked up a groin strain and will be out for some time, whilst it has now been confirmed that fellow forward Will Keane is set to miss a year’s football after an ACL knee injury was diagnosed.
Added to this, Moses Odubajo (Patella Fracture), Andrew Robertson (Calf Muscle Strain), Greg Luer (Knee Injury) and Alex Bruce (Achilles Injury) were already confirmed as being missing for the Newcastle match and beyond. Meanwhile last season’s number one goalkeeper Allan McGregor is just beginning to make a playing return in reserve matches after six months out following a back injury.
The current head count leaves Hull with at the most just 18 fit recognised senior players and three of those are goalkeepers.
The signs are also hopefully looking good for Newcastle with Hull City facing crucial fixtures either side of the League Cup quarter-final.
Three other relegation candidates face the Tigers, at bottom club Sunderland away this Saturday, then relegation rivals West Brom (home) and Middlesbrough (away) sandwiching the Newcastle match – these two clubs only three and one points respectively above the Humberside club.
Ironically, Hull will play all three north east clubs in a period of just 16 days.
Mike Phelan is under enough pressure as it is after dropping into the bottom three after six straight Premier League defeats, before the surprise win over Southampton.
With fighting relegation the big priority, Phelan will be under pressure when picking his team to play Newcastle. Whilst any further injuries this weekend in what is sure to be a full-blooded clash with Sunderland, will only further help Newcastle United’s chances of a spot in the League Cup semi-finals.