Hull City could have Richie Smallwood and Reece Burke back for Sunderland but Fleetwood Town comes first, insists Grant McCann

Richie Smallwood and Reece Burke could be back for Hull City's midweek game against Sunderland but as usual all manager Grant McCann says he is interested in is the next game, at home to in-form Fleetwood Town.

Captain Smallwood has not played since the defeat at Burton Albion at the start of February and centre-back Burke has missed the last four matches, but both were back on the Cottingham training pitches this week.

“We've had Richie Smallwood and Reece Burke back out on the grass this week,” revealed McCann. The game tomorrow will probably come too quickly for them but maybe looking ahead to Sunderland they could be available, which is positive. Apart from that, we're all good.”

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With the Black Cats' form just slightly wobbling of late, the Tigers might have the opportunity to effectively put Lee Johnson's side out of reach on Tuesday, but only if they do their job on Saturday first, which will not be easy.

TRAINING: But Reece Burke will not be ready to play for Hull City at home to Fleetwood Town

McCann has never been one to allow his players to get ahead of themselves, and Fleetwood's position 13th in League One is deceptive. Former Huddersfield Town, Leeds United and Bradford City manager Simon Grayson had a difficult first month in charge after Joey Barton's departure but has found his feet now, winning six of the last nine matches.

“The next one's the most important for us and that's all we're focused on this week, the preparation for Fleetwood,” insisted McCann. “It's another tough game for us, a team that's unbeaten in their last four away from home, winning three, conceded one.

“It's a tough game, Simon's done a good job since he's come in and we're up against a good Fleetwood team so we have to be at our best.”

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