MIKE PHELAN’S sole focus is on Hull City’s trip to Burnley despite the impasse that has developed over his own future.
The 52-year-old had been expected to be installed as the Tigers’ permanent manager during the international break but talks stalled earlier this week with Phelan’s representatives revealing the two parties were “still wide apart”.
“I would have liked it to have been decided seven weeks ago,” admitted Phelan, who took temporary charge after Steve Bruce walked out on July 22.
“But, all I can do is what I have been doing. I have accomplished quite a bit in a short space of time but I would really like to see some firm decision made on the future and the direction this football club should be going in.
“We had a discussion last week and we are still talking about the situation but we just focus on what is a big game.”
The managerial situation has been complicated by the Allams’ attempts to sell the club, which this week suffered a blow when a Chinese consortium’s bid stalled.
Another group that has been in the background up to now is ready to step in but, inevitably, this will take time – something that can only add to the uncertainty surrounding Hull.
This, of course, is nothing new in a summer that saw Bruce walk out following a breakdown in relations over transfers and the Tigers take until the final 36 hours of the window to break their signing duck.
Amid all this, Phelan has done a heroic job to keep the club together. Asked by The Yorkshire Post how he has coped with all the uncertainty, he replied: “You switch off sometimes. The beauty of the game is that you can come to work and sit in your office with your coaching staff and talk about football.
“From that point of view, it is the same old day. You train, you prepare, you enjoy being around football players.
“You try and make their lives easier than they already are. I don’t feel under any real scrutiny. I am just going about my job and, hopefully, other people will decide on my future.”
Match previews: Pages 2-5.