Bruce to rest key men

Steve Bruce Credit: 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.

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 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.