MIKE PHELAN believes Hull City’s starting XI will be strong enough to make history tomorrow by reaching the League Cup semi-finals despite planning several changes.
The Tigers have reached the last eight for only the second time in the club’s history.
Championship leaders Newcastle United, however, represent a formidable barrier with Rafael Benitez boasting a squad that many Premier League managers would envy.
Phelan is expected to make changes with David Meyler, Tom Huddlestone and Eldin Jakupovic set for a run-out but the Tigers chief is adamant his side can progress.
“We have progressed in this Cup and now we are at this stage it is important that we try and maintain momentum,” he said.
“The team that will play tomorrow will be strong. We have got three or four players who need to play minutes going into December.
“We need to get them out on the grass so we will be using them, but we should be in reasonably good shape and strong.
“There will be changes but some of those will be internationals. We will do our job and prepare the team to play a good Newcastle team. We won’t be weak in any way.”
City crashed out at this stage a year ago, losing 2-0 at Manchester City. Victory tomorrow, therefore, would see history made but Phelan insists he is not looking too far ahead.
“I don’t think we can get too carried away,” he said. “We have found ourselves progressing in this competition.
“We are in the quarter-finals and we know if we get through this one there are two more games to be added to your calendar in January after a busy Christmas.
“But all the players are looking forward to it. If you are in a cup competition and you get this far, you want to go as far as you possibly can. With the team that will be on the pitch, I am sure they’ll give it everything.”