MIKE PHELAN has proved himself to be a patient man.
Which was just as well yesterday morning when, for the first time since taking the reins following Steve Bruce’s exit in July, he went to park at City’s training ground in the space reserved for the manager.
And found it blocked by a van belonging to builders working at the site.
“I still can’t park in it now, there is a builders’ van in it,” laughed Phelan, who had vowed on being put in temporary charge not to park in his former boss’s space until confirmed in the job on a permanent basis.
“And I am not arguing with the digger driver, he is a big fella. No messing with him. He is digging a trench. I thought, ‘Argue with him and I could be in it!’
“I will try to park in there (on Monday), we shall see. I have only got a little Mini, so I might just be able to squeeze in there.”
Parking problems aside, Phelan has had a good week with the confirmation of his permanent role finally arriving. It is something that has gone down well with the players, who have made plain their desire for Bruce’s former assistant to get the job since the season got under way.
“It was just a matter of time,” said Marcus Henriksen, one of six signings by Phelan in the final 36 hours of the window. “There’s been a lot of back and forward and I think everyone is relieved. He is a good coach and a good guy. Everyone is satisfied.
“He did a great job, he got manager of the month. All the players wanted him to be the manager and now we can stop thinking about that.
“He is a good coach and he is a big reason I signed for this club. I heard a lot about him and I know he wanted me.”
City have had four games selected for live broadcast in December and January following the announcement of the latest round of fixtures to be screened by Sky and BT Sport.
The trip to Middlesbrough will now be played on Monday December 5, while the others to be shown live are the home games against Manchester City (December 26, 5.15pm) and Everton (Friday December 30) plus the visit to Chelsea (Sunday January 22).