MIKE PHELAN admits he is excited at the prospect of a ‘special’ return to former club Manchester United in Hull City’s first-ever appearance in the semi-finals of the League Cup next month.
Hull will visit Old Trafford in the first leg on the week commencing January 9, with the second leg taking place at the KCOM Stadium a fortnight later.
It is the third time in five seasons that a Yorkshire team has made it through to the last four of the League Cup, with the last finalist being Bradford City in 2013.
Phelan won the competition as a player with United in 1992 and was assistant to Sir Alex Ferguson during the Red Devils’ League Cup triumphs in 2009 and 2010 and he is relishing a nostalgic reunion with his old club.
On the draw, Phelan, whose side booked their place in the last-four following a penalty shoot-out success over Newcastle United on Tuesday night, said: “It is a special draw in a couple of ways.
“One, we have managed to get to a semi-final of this competition, which the club has not achieved (before).
“So that is a step in the right direction and for these players, it is something to be proud of.
“For me personally, it is something special as I spent most of my career there as a player and a coach.
“So to at least have the opportunity to go - and we also play them in the league (on February 1) which means I get two days out at Old Trafford; hopefully successfully.
“It is a very good draw. We will be excited about that when it comes around.
“It is terrific and the players will be prepared, ready and up for it.”