Hull City v Coventry: Joe Dudgeon ruled out to words of encouragement
JOE Dudgeon will almost certainly miss Hull City’s clash with Coventry, but the youngster has been given words of encouragement by manager Nick Barmby.
The 21-year-old made an unhappy return to the Tigers’ fold on Tuesday as his first league appearance in four months coincided with a costly 2-0 defeat at Portsmouth.
To compound Dudgeon’s misery, he was forced off in the closing stages of the Fratton Park loss with a hamstring injury that appears likely to keep him sidelined when Coventry visit the KC tomorrow.
Dudgeon underwent scans on the injury yesterday and, if they reveal significant damage, he could miss between two and four weeks.
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Barmby admits he feels sympathy for the former Manchester United rookie after his efforts were rewarded in City’s midfield, but stressed the Tigers’ demise was down to collective failings.
“Dudge had been champing at the bit to play and got his chance,” said Barmby.
“I felt for him on Tuesday because it coincided with our worst performance of the season.
“You get games like that and it’s happened to every one of us.
“It’s happened to me plenty of times but we certainly won’t be like that again, that’s for sure.”
On Dudgeon’s injury, he added: “He’s gone for a scan so we’ll wait and see.
“Unless it’s a miracle, I don’t think he’ll play.”
Corry Evans looks set for a recall to the City midfield tomorrow in place of Dudgeon, with Barmby partnering the Northern Ireland international with Paul McKenna.
Barmby explained Evans’ midweek absence as an attempt to rotate his starting XI during a hectic period of games but, with Coventry’s visit marking the end of a nine-game sequence in March, the City boss will not be pressed into wholesale changes.
“We’re nearly out of the period of all the games now,” he said.
“There’s been a lot of travelling and time spent on the road so you have to be cute in the way you pick your team and rotate because we play at a high intensity.
“That was the only reason Corry wasn’t in the side.
“There might be a few changes, but I have every confidence in the players and they know that.
“We know where we went wrong on Tuesday and there were too many players off form.”
* TOM Cairney is in contention after missing the trip to Portsmouth with a thigh injury, while defender Sonny Bradley has been recalled from his loan at Aldershot to provide cover.