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Tigers forced into striker changes

08 Mar 2014 13:31:57

Tigers forced into striker changes

Sone Aluko and Yannick Sagbo are in line to lead the Hull attack for their FA Cup quarter-final against Sunderland.

January signings Shane Long and Nikica Jelavic are both cup-tied, forcing manager Steve Bruce into changes up front.

Maynor Figueroa is a doubt having had a gruelling friendly trip to Honduras in midweek, but otherwise there are no new injury concerns for the Tigers.

Hull were comfortably beaten by Newcastle 4-1 last week in their biggest home defeat of the season.

Bruce's side will be hoping to put that behind them t home to a Sunderland team already beaten twice by the Tigers this season.

That is in stark contrast with their form in the knockout competitions, with the Black Cats defeated in the Capital One Cup by Manchester City last Sunday and now eyeing another Wembley appearance.

"If you ask (Sunderland manager) Gus Poyet he'd probably like it the other way round," said Bruce.

"They've had a wonderful run in the cups but Gus would probably have liked a few more wins in the Premier League."

One player who would not be available to play a part should Hull reach their first FA Cup semi-final since 1930 is Republic of Ireland winger Robbie Brady.

He has not played since February 4 due to a groin complaint and will take no further part this season following surgery.

"The problem has been hovering for a long time as we know, but hopefully it has been put to bed now," said Bruce.

"The operation he's had is a serious one and we wish him the best of luck. We hope that we'll see him at the start of next season.

"He's got a long summer ahead of him."

Sunderland will travel to Humberside still disappointed at the outcome of their Capital One Cup final adventure, but knowing they more than gave a good account of themselves.

Poyet faces the task of easing the pain of a near-miss, which left his players in understandably subdued mood.

He said "I read letters from people at Brighton when we were beating a Premier League team at half-time and it was the best moment of their life, and I thought, 'Oh my God', how you can make people feel.

"Imagine the Sunderland fans at half-time at Wembley? But we always say at the end of the day, it's about winning and we didn't.

"It was a strange evening at the hotel. It was a mix of yes, being proud, but sadness, but that's natural when you care and you don't achieve what was so close."

Hull completed a league double over Sunderland last month, but the Black Cats finished with only nine men at the KC Stadium on November 2 and 10 last time out.

Poyet said: "I think the team would like to go there and put a proper performance on - 11 v 11. If, at the end of the day, they are better than us, then we will take it."

Poyet will have midfielder Liam Bridcutt available once again after he was ineligible against City.


PA

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