Tigers wait on Gardner

Posted Saturday, October 03, 2009 by PA

Hull will again check on the fitness of defender Anthony Gardner ahead of their Barclays Premier League clash against Wigan.

The former England international has missed the Tigers' last four league games with a knee injury.

Centre-back Liam Cooper, who made his league debut at Liverpool last week, is a slight doubt with a hamstring strain but fellow defender Steven Mouyokolo has overcome an injury to the same area.

Record signing Jimmy Bullard has been earmarked for a possible return at Fulham on October 19.

Boss Phil Brown takes his side into the crucial game insisting he does not feel his job is on the line.

Brown has been the focus of fans' ire after a poor start to the season but has been strongly backed by the club to turn the situation around.

Hull are 19th in the Barclays Premier League with just four points from seven games but their dismal run stretches back to last December, since when they have won just twice in the competition.

Brown said: "I think I have got a good support mechanism in terms of management staff and in terms of the chairman and the owners.

"As far as I am concerned, until they say different, no I am not fighting for my job.

"As far as I am concerned there is a lot more to achieve at this football club."

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez will assess all his options before selecting his squad.

Having beaten Chelsea last weekend the Spaniard could be tempted to stick with the same starting line-up.

However, he has plenty of choices as everyone is fit, including young midfielder James McCarthy, who came off with a minor groin problem in Monday's reserve team match against Bolton.

Martinez admits he cannot have any sympathy for Brown ahead of the clash.

Hull are currently on a four-match losing streak - three of which have come in the Barclays Premier League - and slipped to next-bottom of the table after last weekend's 6-1 hammering at Liverpool.

But Martinez, whose side won one in six prior to the surprise victory over Chelsea, does not feel sorry for Brown as he is wary of being turned over by the wounded Tigers.

"There is no sympathy in that respect. I think this is the worst time to play them," he said.

"Losing against Liverpool the way they did urges you to produce a reaction and that is the dangerous state Hull are in and we need to be aware of that.

"They will look to bounce back in front of their fans. They had a big disappointment but I am sure everyone at Hull is hoping the team is going to click. We all hope they are not going to click at the weekend but we need to be prepared and ready and expect a completely different game to the one we had against Chelsea."




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