Saturday 24 March 2018

Bruce counting on 'crazy results'

Steve Bruce admits Hull need
Steve Bruce admits Hull need "one or two crazy results"

Hull boss Steve Bruce has admitted his side need to pull off a couple of "crazy results" if they are to preserve their Premier League status in a frantic end-of-season run-in.

The Tigers head to Southampton on Saturday without a win in five games and perching just two points above the bottom three after wins last week for QPR and Leicester.

And Bruce hopes the unpredictable nature of this season's top flight will continue into the final weeks, with the likes of Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United still due to visit the KC Stadium.

Bruce said: "We have just witnessed over the last week all sorts of crazy results can happen and we need to make sure we get one or two of those, that's for sure.

"We've proved this year that we're capable but we're under no illusions how difficult it is going to be. It is all to play for and it is another big weekend but we have been saying that for the best part of four months.

"The way it's gone all season I wouldn't be surprised if it goes right down to the wire. Last week people were saying QPR and Leicester were gone but all of a sudden they've produced a result and they're back in it again."

Bruce's biggest selection dilemma for the trip to the south coast is whether to keep faith in goalkeeper Allan McGregor after a pair of high-profile blunders in recent weeks.

McGregor was at fault for the opening goal in the 3-1 defeat at Swansea last week and also made a mistake in the loss to Chelsea a fortnight ago, but Bruce sprung to the defence of the under-fire 33-year-old.

Bruce said: "When you're a goalkeeper the one thing the Premier League does is highlight mistakes and unfortunately Allan will be the first to admit he has been disappointed over the last couple of weeks.

"I haven't made a decision one way or the other, but Allan is a very, very good goalkeeper. Despite his mistakes he is still a top-class keeper."

Veteran Steve Harper is pushing to replace McGregor in Bruce's starting line-up while midfielder Tom Huddlestone is also set to make a welcome return from suspension.

However David Meyler is ruled out after his red card last week, Gaston Ramirez is ineligible to play against his parent club and Curtis Davies is an injury doubt.

And Bruce acknowledged his side face a major battle to boost their survival prospects against Ronald Koeman's high-flying Saints whom he rates as the best outside the traditional "big guns".

"We will have to be somewhere near our best if we are going to get anything out of them because I rate them very highly," added Bruce.

"They lost three or four players for big money but they have bought well. They have maintained their position at the top end of the league so fair play to Ronald Koeman and the way the club is run from top to bottom."

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