Young Bruce eyes squad assessment

29 October 2013 03:46

With injuries mounting at Hull manager Steve Bruce may view Wednesday's Capital One Cup clash at Tottenham as an unwanted distraction, but son Alex sees another chance for the squad to show its depth.

The Tigers are making a second trip to White Hart Lane in four days, having been consigned to a 1-0 defeat on Sunday by a dubious penalty decision in the hosts' favour.

With Barclays Premier League survival the clear priority this year, Bruce has so far used the cup as a chance to rest and rotate, while still progressing to the fourth round.

He would like to do so again against Spurs but is struggling with thin resources and his starting XI may be determined partially by who is fit and available.

The Tigers have suffered a series of setbacks of late, with club captain Robert Koren and James Chester having already missed several weeks and the likes of goalkeeper Allan McGregor, Danny Graham, Sone Aluko and Abdoulaye Faye all being ruled out ahead of the Tottenham double header.

Alex Bruce was one beneficiary of the withdrawals, making his first league appearance of the season at the weekend, having previously been confined to the cup side.

He was joined by the likes of Paul McShane and David Meyler in the starting XI, while peripheral players Aaron McLean and Nick Proschwitz were used from the bench.

All five look set to be utilised against Spurs for a second time and for defender Bruce it is a chance to prove they can play their part this season.

"It's a squad game nowadays, you can't rely on 11 players in a season or you're going to be struggling. There's going to be injuries," he said.

"You need to utilise the squad because you can't play the same 11 week in, week out.

"You've got to have a strong 18 or 22 players who, when called upon, have got to do a job. I think the lads who came in (on Sunday) did that."

Bruce was particularly pleased to make his return to the side and admitted the prize of three Premier League points was more important to Hull than a continued cup run.

"It was nice to get a game," he admitted.

"Playing places like White Hart Lane is what you become a footballer for. We defended very well, had a game plan and stuck to it.

"Tottenham, with all their quality, struggled to break us down. The only real chance I can think of was the penalty.

"Wednesay is going to be a tough game because coming here is very tough. (Sunday) was the important one and it's a shame we got beat because the Premier League is the main aim.

"But we'll come here, enjoy the occasion on the night and try to beat them again."

Source: PA

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