Hull City stars Jack Hobbs and Tom Cairney set to play in reserves match against Gateshead
JACK Hobbs and Tom Cairney will aim to press their claims for a first-team comeback when they line up for Hull City's reserves tonight.
The visit of Gateshead to North Ferriby United this evening (7pm kick-off) will take on a heightened significance as both Hobbs and Cairney attempt to sharpen fitness levels ahead of their anticipated returns from injury in the coming weeks.
Hobbs enjoyed his first game in over seven months last week when playing 29 minutes of City's behind-closed-doors friendly at Peterborough United and he is expected to step up his comeback with a start tonight.
Cairney, who has been absent since damaging knee ligaments at Doncaster in August, can also expect his first run-out for almost three months.
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Although neither player will be considered for the weekend clash with Burnley, the return of Hobbs and Cairney will hand boss Steve Bruce a timely boost ahead of a hectic December.
Between them, the pair made 72 appearances for the Tigers last season and their imminent availability will add to the increasing competition for places.
Hobbs will have James Chester, Abdoulaye Faye, Alex Bruce and Paul McShane standing in his way of a place back in the side, while Cairney will attempt to win prominence in a midfield that includes Stephen Quinn, Robert Koren, Corry Evans, David Meyler, Paul McKenna and Seyi Olofinjana.
City's reserve side will be without one of its mainstays tonight after Conor Townsend was allowed to join League Two side Chesterfield.
The 19-year-old left-back joins fellow youth-team graduate Liam Cooper on loan at the Proact Stadium as he attempts to earn his first taste of Football League action after spending last season in the Conference with Grimsby Town.