KEY playmaker Jon Toral is out of in-form Hull City’s game against Championship leaders West Bromwich Albion due to a fresh knee problem.
The Spaniard has been highly influential since returning last month from a previous injury, helping the Tigers to three successive wins to leave them on the verge of the play-off places.
Hull fancy their chances of extending that sequence when West Brom come to the KCOM Stadium on Saturday but boss Grant McCann must now make a change to accommodate the absence of the 24-year-old who has been operating in the No10 role.
“It is disappointing for us,” said McCann, who has been nominated for Championship manager of the month after his side’s stellar run.
“He’s been in good form but it is what it is. Jon will miss the weekend and we’ll see how he is after that.
“He’s had a scan and we’re just going to take it from there.
“In terms of the extent of it we probably won’t know until after the weekend.
“He’s been plagued with little knocks and niggles since he’s been at the club.
“A lot of the time he has been fit and maybe not been selected but this is frustrating for him.”
Tom Eaves, Jackson Irvine and George Honeyman are all potential replacements in that role and McCann could also revert to 4-3-3.
“It’s the reason we have a squad and an opportunity for someone else,” he added
“We’ve got good options. We’ve got Eavesey, we’ve got Keane Lewis-Potter, who scored for the 23s this week. He can play as a 10. Jackson (Irvine) can play there. George Honeyman can play there.
“We could bring Kev Stewart back into the team so we’ve got a lot of different options.
“It’s just making sure we pick the right one to try and unsettle West Brom. “That’s not going to be easy. We’re playing a team that’s top of the league for a reason.”
Asked if he sees a more confident group now in light of their recent form, McCann added: “They’ve always been confident.
“Results dictate that they can show more confidence in their play but they’re a really good group of boys.
“They train well and apply themselves well every day.
“They’re reaping the rewards now but no-one is going over the top.
“Yes, we’re in good form but we’ve got another tough game at the weekend.
“There’s always an overreaction when you lose a game and vice versa when you win a game. No-one is getting carried away. We’ll always stay in the middle ground.
“We’re not champagne, we’re not a glass of water. We’re in the middle with a nice glass of beer if that makes sense.”