Dawson back as Phelan expects Hull reaction
Hull City manager Mike Phelan is hoping the return of captain Michael Dawson will inspire a reaction to last weekend's humbling at Bournemouth.
Hull were thrashed 6-1 on the south coast in Phelan's first game in permanent charge and the former Manchester United assistant coach is hoping his players have the mental fortitude to bounce back against a resurgent Stoke City side.
He said at his news conference: "The reaction has been very good. We've had a week to get over things.
"It's been difficult but we need a reaction and I'm sure we'll see that.
"The supporters will want to see a reaction. Those who travelled all the way to Bournemouth will have been disappointed, as we all were.
"We certainly didn't expect that result."
Hull's squad has been ravaged by injury this season, Andy Robertson and Moses Odubajo the latest players to have been struck down.
But there is one glimmer of hope, with Dawson set to return after three months out due to a knee injury.
Phelan added: "Michael is back now. He's available for selection.
"You want leaders and experience and Michael carries that.
"He's trained all week. I'm sure he'll feature in the game."
After a bright start, Hull have now gone six games without a win in the Premier League and Phelan has called on his players to get back to basics in a bid to arrest their slump.
"We have to make sure we're prepared to learn from the last few weeks and the defeats we've taken," he said.
"Nothing is given to you in this game.
"There's no shortage of effort, it's just about doing the basics correctly.
"The big league depends on your big players turning up and performing."