0 users online

Fulham return for Bullard being considered

last updated Tuesday 13th October 2009, 10:44 AM
Former Fulham  midfielder Jimmy Bullard
Former Fulham midfielder
Jimmy Bullard
Other Jimmy Bullard Stories
Hull manager Phil Brown admits the temptation is growing to hand Jimmy Bullard a Premier League return at Fulham next Monday.

But the City boss insists he will continue to exercise caution before throwing the £5m man back into the mix.

Following a goalscoring return for the Tigers second string last week, Bullard's comeback was due to gather pace with a run-out against York City in a behind-closed-doors friendly this afternoon.

It was hoped the 30-year-old will gain at least an hour of action as he presses his claims for a first league outing since an ill-fated debut in January.

And Brown says his performance in that game will have a major influence on just how long he features at Craven Cottage.

"Whether or not Jimmy will be able to start against Fulham will depend entirely on how he does against York and how he trains for the rest of the week," Brown told the Mail.

"His attitude has been absolutely first class but we'll only play Jimmy at the right time.

"It was 45 minutes under his belt last week, albeit reserves, and hopefully there will be another 60, 65 or 70 minutes against York.

"If he comes through unscathed again, fingers crossed he could play some part in the Fulham game, but I'll be keeping my cards close to my chest with regards to how much."

Having left Fulham in favour of City in January, Bullard is desperate to make his return at Craven Cottage in six days.

But, without a 90-minute run-out since last December, Brown hinted at a reluctance to start Bullard against his former club.

"It is tempting, of course it is, but the beauty of the win against Wigan buys him and me more time," added Brown.

"The temptation of a manager under pressure with four points from seven games is different to that of a manager with seven points after eight games.

"Win against Fulham and you're in double figures and all of a sudden the pressures of the Premier League are alleviated to a certain extent. The same goes for the risks you might take with any player returning from injury."

Today's friendly against York was also set to see injury-plagued Anthony Gardner given a first taste of action since August.

The centre-back has been troubled by a knee injury for the past seven weeks and while the Fulham game may still come too soon, a comeback is within sight.

With Gardner's long-standing fitness past a concern, City may have to wait for Portsmouth's visit for the defender's return.

"We hope to see Anthony playing a part, we're looking at 45 minutes or maybe 60," said Brown.

"He's had a pleasing week of training but it's a case of building up his strength and confidence every day.

"That doesn't come quickly but hopefully once he gets a game under his belt that will come."

Source Hull SportMail
Since 1998
"It's been updated!"