Liam Rosenior sends a key message as he discusses a “brutal weapon” he’s using to keep large Hull City squad happy…

Hull City will be without their star man for the weekend trip to The Hawthorns.

Liam Rosenior says he will look to keep a settled side for as long as possible before feeling the need to rotate his team too much ahead of the long winter period. The Hull City boss has a host of options at his disposal after a busy summer transfer window but the likes of Ozan Tufan and Aaron Connolly have been restricted to appearances off the bench in recent weeks.

Tufan was superb in August scoring four times and collecting a Player of the Month nomination before picking up an injury while Connolly netted five goals in the early knockings of the campaign, form which saw him recalled to the Ireland squad.

Both players have been forced to be patient with Liam Delap, Jaden Philogene, Scott Twine and Adama Traore all performing well in recent weeks with City only outside the top six on goal difference having won their last two.

Jaden Philogene will miss Saturday’s trip to play-off rivals West Brom and while that will open up an opportunity for somebody else, it’s unlikely to see Tufan restored to the starting XI. Instead, Rosenior will almost certainly recall Tyler Morton after his one-game injury lay-off and shift Adama Traore wide.

“If you look at the make-up of this season, we’re coming up to our third international break,” the City boss told Hull Live. “We’ve had blocks of five games. It’s very difficult to rotate your squad in that time and we’ve also had 11 incoming players so you need to create chemistry in your group. You can’t keep switching and changing.

“Ozan was in the team and was doing great and now he’s come out of the team and although Scott Twine hasn’t scored, he’s given us so much in terms of his pressing, his intelligence and the runs that he makes.

“I’m telling you, come November, December, January and February, that’s when we’re going to feel the benefits of having a squad. I keep saying it to the players.

“Aaron Connolly started the season on fire and scored five goals but hasn’t been on the pitch for the last five games. Harry Vaughan is another outstanding player I’ve got. For me, it’s about the squad understanding when they’ll be needed. I will rotate but it won’t be at this time of the season because it’s not needed.”

Connolly withdrew from the last Ireland squad through injury and then suffered a family bereavement, but Rosenior says he’s ready and raring to go if called upon. He would have played for the Under-21s earlier in the week had it not been called off because of the weather.

“Aaron’s fine,” he continued. “We had a game organised on Tuesday (Under-21s) against Burnley but unfortunately, it got called off. There were seven lads who were going to play to sharpen themselves up. Docs (Greg Docherty), Aaron, James Furlong, Harry Vaughan, Dodo Sinik, Tim (Lo-Tutala) and Andy Smith. Those lads were going to play for the Under-21s. Not because they’re out of the picture here, they just need the minutes.

“We’re in the process of organising some friendly games. There will be one in our international break where we can sharpen those players up and get them ready for the winter period because we’re going to need everyone.”

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