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FA Cup third round draw throws up final replay for Tigers

Last season's beaten finalists Hull will play holders Arsenal in January's FA Cup third round.

The draw was held at The Deep Aquarium in Hull with manager Steve Bruce watching on his side were second to be drawn out, sending them to The Emirates Stadium.

We'd been drawn against Arsenal in the rehearsal. Let's hope it is as good as the final, because it was a great game.

– Steve Bruce

I guess it was just meant to be.

– Curtis Davies

McGregor saves a point as Hull slip into bottom three

Allan McGregor saved a penalty but Hull's poor run of form continued as they drew 0-0 at home to West Brom in the Premier League.

Hull goalkeeper Allan McGregor Credit: Press Association

The result sees City slide into the relegation zone, extending their winless run to eight games.

Stephen Quinn came closest for the Tigers when his flicked header from a Jake Livermore cross almost caught out visiting keeper Ben Foster in the 59th minute, but the sense of frustration soon returned.

If a classic was never on the cards supporters of both sides at the KC Stadium might have expected more from a dismal first period in which the only shot on target from either side was Graham Dorrans' ninth minute penalty miss.

The visitors had already been denied a third minute shout after Victor Anichebe fell under the challenge of Craig Dawson in the box, but referee Michael Oliver showed no hesitation shortly afterwards when the same player was pulled back by Livermore.

Dorrans' penalty was placed well enough but Hull keeper Allan McGregor guessed right to dive to his left and paw the ball clear to the delight of the Tigers fans behind his goal.

Given the Baggies' recent travails Bruce's men could have been forgiven for ringing this date on the calendar as a golden opportunity to get their season back on track with three points.

Not only had they emerged from their midweek trip to Everton with a creditable draw, but they had striker Abel Hernandez back to lead their front-line after missing the previous two games on paternity leave.

But the sum total of their lightweight first half assault was a half-chance in the 22nd minute when David Meyler shrugged off the sleeping Sebastien Pocognoli and struck a shot towards goal which was blocked by Gareth McAuley in the box.

Hull showed some signs of stirring after the break with Sone Aluko, given a rare start after coming off the bench to score his side's equaliser at Goodison Park, scuffing a deflected shot wide before the hosts almost snatched the lead just before the hour mark.

Livermore made ground down the right flank before crossing for Quinn whose flicked header from distance almost caught out Baggies keeper Foster, who had to drop low to his left to palm the ball out for a corner.

Livermore caused problems again two minutes later when a spell of home pressure ended in the former Tottenham man tugging a low shot straight at Foster from 18 yards.

The Baggies' best chance came in the 72nd minute when Craig Gardner was fouled by Tom Huddlestone and from the resulting free-kick Gardner drew a rare save out of McGregor.

Irvine had seen enough, immediately introducing Saido Berahino, to the obvious pleasure of the visiting Baggies fans.

But as with so many of Berahino's recent performances since his call-up by Roy Hodgson for last month's double-header against Slovenia and Scotland, he seemed curiously off the pace and never threatened McGregor in the home goal.

Hernandez came close with a late header for Hull and Baggies sub Brown Ideye drew a save from McGregor, but the final whistle was greeted by predictable boos from fans of both sides.


Bruce hoping Aluko can shine

Hull manager Steve Bruce is hoping fans will soon be able to see the real Sone Aluko make his mark on the Barclays Premier League.

Aluko battling with Everton's Sylvain Distin Credit: Press Association

The Nigeria international was arguably the club's best player in the first half of their 2012-13 promotion campaign before missing the rest of the season with an Achilles injury.

Last term was equally frustrating, with his Achilles this time ruling him out for almost four months from October.

But Bruce has never lost faith in a player he first worked with as a teenager at Birmingham, and has been desperate to see him back to form and fitness.

He was handed a chance from the bench against Everton on Tuesday night, courtesy of the knee injury that is likely to sideline Mohamed Diame until the new year, and his response suggested Bruce's wish could be about to come true.

Aluko scored a fine leveller and excelled in support of Nikica Jelavic, who might have won it for Hull had his finish matched Aluko's set-up.

I was delighted for Sone. When I first arrived a couple of years ago he was the outstanding player in the Championship. Unfortunately he damaged his Achilles so badly he missed all the rest of that season and even last year was stop-start. In my experience when you've had serious injuries and been out for a year it can take you as long again to be really, really back to being that comfortable. That especially goes if you play like Sone, who is all about twisting and turning and moving. But I'm delighted because he's worked extremely hard and stuck at it. I pulled him aside before the Everton game and said he was very unlucky not to start because he did very well as a sub at Old Trafford, which is a good sign. I know he's looking forward to the challenge of playing week-in, week-out in the Premier League because he's been blighted by injury. Let's just hope he has a bit of luck because he is a very talented player. He's one you enjoy watching because he's a bit different.

– Steve Bruce

The news on Diame, who has been a huge success since his deadline-day arrival from West Ham, provides less cause for enthusiasm. The Senegal midfielder, who has scored four times in 10 games for Hull, aggravated a knee problem early in the second half against Everton and is set to sit out a busy festive period.

He's got a problem in the tendon of his knee, he's had the scan and we just have to be patient and let it settle. We hope he'll be involved over Christmas but at the moment it's looking two or three weeks to just let it settle down. Injuries are part and parcel of the game but you need a little bit of luck. Injury does play its part but it's been cruel to us for the last two or three months, from the first game of the season we've had (Robert) Snodgrass (out), then Jelavic, then Michael Dawson, now Diame. Our big players have picked up these injuries which is frustrating.

– Steve Bruce

Hull City investigated over possible FFP breach

Hull are under investigation by UEFA for possible breaches of financial fair play rules, it has been announced.

Hull investigated over possible FFP breach Credit: Press Association

The Tigers, who played in the qualifying rounds of the Europa League after finishing as runners-up in the FA Cup final, are among several new clubs who have had formal investigations into their finances opened by UEFA's club financial control body (CFCB).

The clubs involved will have to submit further information to the CFCB but face no immediate sanctions.

In October, Liverpool were one of seven clubs who were absent from European competition last year who had investigations for possible financial fair play (FFP) breaches opened against them.

UEFA's rules dictate that losses must be restricted to £35.4m over a two-year window.

Liverpool joined Monaco, Roma, Besiktas, Inter Milan, Krasnodar and Sporting Lisbon in being subjected to investigations relating to "potential break-even breaches" though the Reds are thought to be confident they will avoid any penalties.

Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain were the clubs hit hardest by UEFA last season for breaching FFP rules - they were each fined £49m and handed restrictions on transfer spending and a reduction in Champions League squad size.

City announced their financial results for last season earlier this week and are confident they will only have to pay £16 million of the £49 million fine after cutting their losses.

Hernandez returns for Tigers

Striker Abel Hernandez returns to the Hull squad after missing two matches for the birth of his child in Uruguay.

Striker Abel Hernandez returns to the Hull squad after missing two matches for the birth of his child in Uruguay. Credit: Press Association

But with Sone Aluko impressing against Everton, he may have to settle for a place on the bench.

Compatriot Gaston Ramirez serves the final game of a three-match suspension and Mohamed Diame is out with a knee injury.

Provisional squad: McGregor, Jakupovic, Harper, Davies, Rosenior, Robertson, Chester, Dawson, Bruce, Elmohamady, Meyler, Huddlestone, Livermore, Brady, Aluko, Quinn, Hernandez, Aluko, Jelavic.

Bruce determined despite six-game winless run

Hull City travel to Everton in the Premier League tonight in desperate need of three points after a run of six games without a win.

That winless streak leaves the Tigers perilously close to the relegation zone with only goal difference keeping them out.

Just last season Hull finished 16th in their first campaign back in the Premier League and also reached the FA Cup final:


Huddlestone wins recall

Hull manager Steve Bruce intends to recall influential midfielder Tom Huddlestone for tomorrow night's Barclays Premier League trip to Everton.

Tom Huddlestone has won a recall to Hull City's line-up Credit: ITV Yorkshire

Bruce admitted he had chosen to leave the former Spurs man out of Saturday's team for a 3-0 defeat at Manchester United but, with the Tigers eager to avoid suffering a fifth straight loss, Huddlestone's positive response has prompted his boss to restore him to the starting XI.

Striker Abel Hernandez has returned to England after travelling to Uruguay for the birth of his child but will not be included, while his countryman Gaston Ramirez serves the second part of a three-match suspension. Bruce has no fresh injury concerns.

Provisional squad: McGregor, Harper, Davies, Rosenior, Robertson, Chester, Dawson, Bruce, McShane, Elmohamady, Meyler, Diame, Huddlestone, Livermore, Brady, Aluko, Quinn, Ben Arfa, Aluko, Jelavic.

Bruce calm on management milestone

Hull boss Steve Bruce will mark his 700th match in football management with a timely trip to Old Trafford on Saturday and says experience has taught him not to panic about the Tigers' recent plight.

Bruce calm on management milestone Credit: Press Association

There could be no more fitting arena for former Manchester United star Bruce - who was first appointed player-boss at Sheffield United in 1998 - to mark his managerial milestone, but his mind will be more on arresting his side's run of three consecutive defeats.

I genuinely haven't looked at January yet - I'm happy with the squad we've got. We made big changes in the summer and some of those players are just starting to bed in and I'm sure we will get better as the season goes on.

It's all about doing all you can to keep the squad as good as it can be. Of course when you get beaten a few times the doubts creep in but you've got to keep everybody positive and make sure they believe in what you're doing.

There's not a lot wrong and we've just got to stay with it. We've got a really difficult run of games and now we're coming to a really critical part of the season.

– Steve Bruce
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