Mendy banned for Tigers

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Hull will make at least one change for the Barclays Premier League clash against Everton with Bernard Mendy out suspended.

Mendy was sent off in Saturday's 3-3 draw with West Ham and is likely to be replaced at right-back by Paul McShane.

Midfielder Seyi Olofinjana is still missing with a hamstring injury and could also be doubtful for the weekend trip to Manchester City. Goalkeeper Boaz Myhill, on the bench against West Ham, could return having fully recovered from a knee injury.

Hull boss Phil Brown feels his side go into the game with "renewed confidence".

Uplifting performances and results in the last two games have transformed the mood at the KC Stadium after a dismal start to the season.

Hull secured only their third win of 2009 against Stoke earlier in the month and then came from 2-0 down to lead before drawing 3-3 with West Ham.

The points gained from those games have lifted the Tigers out of the relegation zone and Brown wants to maintain the momentum as Everton visit.

Brown said: "We will pick a team that is full of renewed confidence and hopefully we can put our best foot forward.

"The fans have been fantastic and got right behind the team in their hour of need.

"And it's reciprocal. We are now setting out with that renewed confidence to create problems for Everton and if we do that the crowd will get behind us.

"Everton haven't had the greatest of starts by their standards but they are difficult to play against.

"They are a threat. They are in Europe for a reason and they have a strikeforce that is capable of scoring goals.

"It is going to be a difficult night, no doubt about it, but with the ball, as I say, there is a renewed confidence."

The catalyst for Hull's recent upturn in fortunes has been the return of record signing Jimmy Bullard from injury.

Bullard, making a belated home debut after a 10-month setback, was outstanding against Stoke and similarly influential against the Hammers.

The 31-year-old could hold the key to Hull's survival hopes and indeed the chances of Brown remaining in charge.

Brown admits, however, the midfielder needs to be carefully managed after two major knee operations in three years.

He said: "He has surprised us immensely, the fact he has got through 90 minutes in two Premier League fixtures.

"Both of them were forced upon him. He was expecting to come off after 70-75 minutes and had to get through the last 15 minutes with his mental strength.

"But he has bags of that and bags of ability too.

"Maybe in hindsight in the West Ham game the substitution I should have made was Geovanni for Jimmy Bullard.

"But I think I would have struggled to get out of the stadium alive if I had taken Jimmy off. The longer he stays out there the better for me anyway."

Everton captain Phil Neville has been ruled out for two or three weeks due to surgery on a knee injury suffered against Fulham in September.

Marouane Fellaini also misses out as he serves a one-match suspension for accumulating five yellow cards this season, while Diniyar Bilyaletdinov sits out the final game of his three-match ban.

Fellow midfielder Steven Pienaar has an outside chance of featuring after eight weeks out with a knee injury but is more likely to be kept back for Sunday's Merseyside derby.

Everton manager David Moyes admits his long injury list has started to get him down.

Neville appeared to be on the verge of making a first-team comeback but now faces possibly another three weeks on the sidelines.

With Phil Jagielka, Mikel Arteta, Victor Anichebe, James Vaughan and Leon Osman all currently injured and Pienaar only just returning to fitness after two months out, Moyes has had a tough time.

"It started to wear me down on Friday when I heard Phil was going to need an operation," said the Toffees boss.

"He has a bit of a cartilage tear, which we knew about, but the surgeon didn't want to operate [at the time of the injury] as he didn't think it was needed.

"It looks as if the tear has got slightly bigger so we feel now we have to go in and do something about it.

"We were probably expecting Phil to have maybe started against Manchester United (last Saturday), Hull or maybe Liverpool (this Sunday).

"There was an outside chance because he had been training with us for five or six days but in the end I wouldn't have picked him against United because he wasn't physically fit enough.

"It now looks like he is going to be out for another two or three weeks."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Jimmy Bullard
Leon Osman
James Vaughan
Stoke City
Manchester City
Mikel Arteta
Premier League
Marouane Fellaini
Manchester United
Phil Jagielka
Paul McShane
Bernard Mendy
Phil Neville
West Ham United
Victor Anichebe
Hull City
Steven Pienaar
Diniyar Bilyaletdinov
Boaz Myhill

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