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Mike Phelan has already selected his Hull City starting XI for the trip to Liverpool on Saturday (24 September), despite a number of fringe players impressing during the EFL Cup midweek. The likes of Ryan Mason and Markus Henriksen starred during the 2-1 win at Stoke City, giving the caretaker boss a selection headache as the team visits Anfield.
Mason and Henriksen moved to the Tigers in the final days of the summer transfer window, alongside goalkeeper David Marshall, Will Keane, James Weir and Dieumerci Mbokani. None of those recruits have yet started a Premier League fixture, with Phelan naming an unchanging opening line-up for the opening five matches of the campaign.
But the new boys took their opportunities against Stoke to impress the boss, just days after Phelan's regular starters fell to a 4-1 defeat against Arsenal in the league.
Accordingly, some of the summer recruits may get a starting berth in the visit to Liverpool on Saturday. Phelan has already made a decision on his team, but was not letting anything out during the press conference ahead of the game.
"I know what team I want to put out on Saturday and the good thing is we now have a lot of players available to us," said Phelan. "Some of them are still a little bit short in terms of minutes on the field, but it's all going in the direction that we want it to.
"Everybody wants to play and it's my time to make decisions. I'm sure that all of the players who are available understand the situation. It's a long season and at some point they will get their run of games. Some have to be patient for now, but it's about us all pulling in the right direction together because there are a lot of things that we want to achieve this season."
The caretaker boss added that he was still waiting to hear from Hull's owners regarding his long-term future at the club. Last week he revealed he had been offered the job on a permanent basis, but no deal has yet been signed amid confusion over a pending takeover.
"I want it resolved, but it's not my decision," he said. "A lot of it rests on the position of the club. All I keep hearing is 'takeover, takeover, takeover'."
"It's difficult for me to comment because I don't know all the issues outside the football. Takeovers are confusing, there are rumours. I've tried to stay focused on my players. Supporters want answers and they will get them in time, I'm sure. I'm under no illusions. I want it resolved but it's not my decision."