Hull City v Newcastle United: Desire to win medals should spur on Tigers, insists Mike Phelan

Mike Phelan: A winner and a loser in the League Cup final with Manchester United.
Mike Phelan: A winner and a loser in the League Cup final with Manchester United.
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AS a player, Mike Phelan appeared in back-to-back League Cup finals for Manchester United.

A second-half substitute in 1991 as John Sheridan won the Cup for Sheffield Wednesday, the Lancastrian was back at Wembley a year later and in the starting line-up as Nottingham Forest were beaten 1-0.

Phelan, therefore, knows what potentially lays just around the corner if his Hull City side can make history tonight by reaching the semi-finals.

“As a footballer you always want to win something,” said the Tigers’ head coach.

“It is all right being paid a lot of money but, at the end, you want something to show for it, which is medals.

“I was fortunate enough to achieve all those goals. I am sure these players here will know that, having come this far, they don’t want to let a chance slip through their fingers.

“It does give you a slight change of direction, a slight change to how you go about your weekly work. Hopefully, we can play well and get into the next stage.”

With Hull having won just one of their last 11 league games, the Cup has proved a welcome addition to the fixture list with Phelan’s men having seen off Exeter City, Stoke City and Bristol City to reach the quarter-finals at home to Newcastle tonight.

“We should be excited by this tie,” added Phelan, who is likely to bring in David Meyler, Tom Huddlestone and Eldin Jakupovic for a rare start.

“It is an opportunity for us to use the squad that is available to us and use the youth, which we can expose to either being on the pitch or the bench. We believe in them.”

Last six games: Hull City LWLWLD, Newcastle United WWWWWL.

Referee: N Swarbrick (Lancashire).

Last time: Hull City 0 Newcastle United 3; January 31, 2015; Premier League.