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Bruce: It's time for heroes

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17 May 2014 08:16:52

Bruce: It's time for heroes

Steve Bruce has hailed a day for heroes as Hull head to Wembley in the hope of winning the FA Cup for the first time in their history.

Bruce has called on his players to rise to the occasion and write their name into football folklore in the same way Ben Watson claimed last-minute glory for Wigan last year.

The Tigers will be big underdogs when they step out against an Arsenal side seeking their first trophy in nine years and Bruce believes that means his club can count on the majority of the neutral support.

Bruce said: ""Everybody enjoys a shock and if you're not an Arsenal fan I'm sure the rest of the world will be rooting for Hull.

"The reality is it's a one-off, and it's a place where heroes are made. Who can be that hero and go and win us the FA Cup?"

Bruce won the FA Cup three times during his playing career at Manchester United, although he was a non-playing squad member in 1996.

And he still retains fond memories of captaining his team to victory over Chelsea in the 1994 final, calling it one of the proudest days of his playing career.

Bruce added: "My first one was in 1990 and it was the showpiece, the pinnacle of the season. There was a clamour for it and I'm reminded of the intensity and of the attention.

"It was over in a blur. Not many of them are married but I told the players it's a bit like your wedding day - before you know it you're married, and before you know it the FA Cup final's gone.

"The memories of the FA Cup are the ones you cherish when you've finished your playing career.

"The ones you really remember are your FA Cup days and, believe me, it's far better when you've won one than when you've lost one."

Bruce has a number of minor injury concerns with Sone Aluko and Paul McShane unlikely to be risked from the start, while strike duo Nikica Jelavic and Shane Long are cup-tied.

And his team are hardly in the best of form having rounded off their Barclays Premier League season with five games without a win since their epic semi-final success over Sheffield United.

But Bruce is not concerned with the end-of-season run-in, adding: " We try but we can't keep it normal - you can tell that.

"You can't put a lid on it. They're playing in arguably the biggest game of their career and that's what you play football for. All they've thought about for four weeks is the FA Cup final.

"When you play for your youth team or your district team you want to do one thing - play in the FA Cup final. There's a spring in their step and so there should be."


PA

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