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  1. ITV Report

Bruce to rest key men

Steve Bruce Photo: ITV Yorkshire

Steve Bruce has vowed to continue his chop-and-change policy for tonight's Capital One Cup third-round clash with Huddersfield, but insists he means no disrespect to the competition.

The Tigers boss put out an entirely new XI in the previous round of the cup, though did eventually need one of his Barclays Premier League regulars, Robbie Brady, to see off Leyton Orient 1-0 in extra-time.

Bruce makes no secret of the fact that retaining the hard-won top-flight status is the over-riding goal of the 2013/14 campaign and will select his side at the KC Stadium with that in mind.

We're not going to be disrespectful to the competition but we made a lot (of changes) last time and we'll certainly do that again".

– Steve Bruce, Hull City manager

Bruce's conviction that his top performers should not be risked will only have increased in the closing moments of Saturday's 3-2 win over Newcastle, when centre-half James Chester suffered a hamstring injury.

He will now join club captain Robert Koren (broken foot) on the sidelines, while Paul McShane and Maynor Figueroa are also short of full fitness.

"The down side for us is that we've lost another one in James Chester.

"It's a big loss to us and it's one thing we can't afford. Two or three are missing now and we hope that's as much as it gets.

"Ches did his hamstring. He stretched in the last minute trying to make a block but unfortunately his hamstring popped and he'll be out a long time I'd have thought.

"I don't think it's just a grade one tear the way he held it. He's probably out for four to six weeks."

– Steve Bruce. Hull City manager

The Tigers have ready-made stand-ins in several positions, with Steve Harper on hand to relieve Allan McGregor in goal, Alex Bruce and Abdoulaye Faye trusted to take over at centre-half and out-of-favour strikers Matty Fryatt and Nick Proschwitz available to reprise their forward pairing from the Orient game.

The side are less well stocked on the flanks and in central midfield, though first-teamers Stephen Quinn and David Meyler may appreciate additional game time having spent more minutes on the bench than the pitch thus far.

Tom Huddlestone, a club-record signing from Tottenham in the summer, has been in fine form in recent games and is one of those likely to be handed a rest.

He had rather too many weeks on the sidelines in his last couple of seasons at Spurs but accepts Bruce's selection policy is not going to change for Huddersfield.

Tom Huddlestone Credit: Press Association

First and foremost, we have got to try to sustain Premier League status for next season, but if you can have a good cup run as well, it bodes well

"The manager has got a fairly deep squad as well - the last round in the cup, he changed 11 players and they got the right result, so he is fully within his rights to do that again, I guess."

– Tom Huddlestone. Hull City player