Hull City fans probably thought it couldn’t get any worse after the humiliation of Saturday’s 6-1 defeat to Bournemouth.
Until, that is, left-back Andrew Robertson, one of the more consistent players in an erratic side already stretched to its limit, was ruled out for up to eight weeks with a calf injury.
The news means the 22-year-old will now be absent for Scotland’s crucial World Cup qualifier against England at Wembley in November, not that Gordon Strachan will be having too many headaches. After slipping to a 3-0 defeat in Slovakia, the under-fire manager claimed the nation have incredible strength in depth at left-back, according to the BBC.
Hull gaffer Mike Phelan, however, is unlikely to share such a carefree spirit. The Tigers have hardly earned their stripes defensively in recent weeks, conceding 17 goals in their last four games and the prolonged loss of their first-choice left-back threatens to turn Phelan’s selection headache into a full-on managerial migraine.
Midfielder Jake Livermore (below) has already been forced to fill in at centre-back for injured captain Michael Dawson throughout the opening weeks of the season while David Marshall has been subjected to intense criticism from a number supporters while standing in for Allan McGregor in goal.
However, Hull’s lack of a second choice left-back means Phelan may have to throw one of the club’s academy graduates in at the deep end for the foreseeable future.
Not a lot of backup for Andy Robertson - eight weeks out at a key phase of the season #hcafc— Dan Kemp (@1_DanKemp) October 17, 2016
Robertson injured for up to 8 weeks. Big blow that. Would prefer to see us switch to 3-5-2 if Dawson is back #hcafc— Conflict (@OddConflict) October 17, 2016
With Robbo now out and no full backs. Let's bring back 3-5-2 with Daws, Maguire and Davies #hcafc— Chris (@sir_cornflake) October 17, 2016