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Bruce: Home games are huge

Hull City will be looking to build on their impressive recent form when they welcome Newcastle to the KC.

The Tigers followed up last weekend's 4-0 victory at Cardiff last weekend with this 2-1 win over Brighton in the FA Cup on Monday.

But manager Steve Bruce says there's still plenty to play for:

Bruce's Champion's League headache

Hull manager Steve Bruce has hit out at the "ridiculous" UEFA regulations that have led their FA Cup fifth-round replay with Brighton to be scheduled little more than 48 hours after this weekend's league matches.

Bruce isn't happy about the date for the replay with Brighton Credit: Press Association

Leonardo Ulloa's quality first-half effort put the Seagulls on course for their first quarter-final since 1986, only for Yannick Sagbo to level five minutes from time.

There were no more goals despite a frantic ending to the 1-1 draw, meaning the FA Cup tie will be decided in a replay at the KC Stadium next Monday due to UEFA regulations.

Those rules have angered Bruce, with Hull having to first travel to Cardiff for an important Premier League clash on Saturday afternoon.

"I find that ridiculous, I have to tell you," the City boss said. "Surely we could play on the same night as the Champions League, you would have thought.

Hull City's Yannick Sagbo (left) scores the equalizer Credit: Press Association

"I think it is a UEFA rule, which reads nobody plays on the same night as the Champions League. We'll have to take it as it is and deal with it as it comes.

"It is quite a bizarre one, isn't it? For them to say to the FA that we can't play the same night as they are playing the Champions League.

"I don't think there will be many tuning out of Barcelona against Manchester City to tune into Hull versus Brighton, no disrespect.

"But there you have it, they think it's going to clash. Is it going to be a real problem for them? I somehow doubt it."

Brighton counterpart Oscar Garcia echoed those sentiments after the match, with Wigan heading to the Amex Stadium before the trip to Hull.

"I don't think it is good for anybody to play two games in three days, but it is what we have to do and we will do it," the Brighton manager said.

Bruce says the replay won't do his side any favours Credit: Press Association

"Of course the travelling will not go in our favour. Now we have to start focusing on Wigan to try and win.

"For me, they have the best squad in the Championship, can play with three different starting line-ups and be fighting for the promotion places. We have to be focused on the next game.

"Of course it is not the best scenario for us, but the competition is like this."

Bruce: Fight to stay in league will go to the wire

Hull manager Steve Bruce believes the battle to stay in the Barclays Premier League may not be resolved until the last day of the season.

Press Association

Victory for the Tigers against Southampton on Tuesday night would have taken them 10th, while their eventual 1-0 defeat meant they ended the night just three points above the relegation zone.

With so many sides bunched so tightly together, unpredictable results now a weekly occurrence and half of the division treating relegation as a realistic possibility, Bruce is not alone in looking over his shoulder.

Steve Harper will be hoping to take his chance to impress Credit: Press Association

Hull take a break from league duties on Monday night when they travel to Brighton in the fifth round of the FA Cup, with veteran goalkeeper Steve Harper hoping for one more chance to stake his claim.

The former Newcastle man has impressed when standing in for Allan McGregor this term, often in the cup competitions but also during the Scot's three-game suspension which expired after the Southampton game.

McGregor is likely to retain Bruce's faith, but Harper has at least made it a tough call.


Bruce demands focus in fight for survival

Steve Bruce wants his Hull side to "stay with it" as the battle for Barclays Premier League survival intensifies.

Bruce is demanding focus from his side Credit: Press Association

When City beat Fulham 6-0 on December 28, the word relegation could not have been further from the minds of those at the KC Stadium.

A winless and goalless January in the Premier League has sharpened minds, though, and Tottenham will arrive in East Yorkshire on Saturday to face a side with just one win from their last 10 top-flight games.

Steve Harper is in line to start against Spurs Credit: Press Association

Narrow defeats at Norwich and Crystal Palace have not helped, but Bruce, a veteran of several dogfights over the years, is keeping a cool head.

Bruce was clearly wounded by the 1-0 loss to Palace, which came at an even greater cost with goalkeeper Allan McGregor being sent off late on.

He will be unable to face Spurs, nor will midfielder Jake Livermore, who is on loan from White Hart Lane.

Bruce has denied Livermore is being recalled by his parent club and spoke about the situation with an assurance he has maintained throughout the January transfer window.

Livermore is staying with Hull, but ineligible to play against Spurs Credit: Press Association

Having signed strikers Nikica Jelavic and Shane Long a fortnight ago, his business has long been done and, barring the possible departures of Danny Graham - himself a Sunderland loanee - and Jack Hobbs, Bruce is pleased to have got everything completed in good time.

With McGregor suspended, Steve Harper will start in goal, while Stephen Quinn should replace Livermore in midfield.

Bruce saw his side narrowly beaten the last time they played Tottenham - a hotly-debated penalty winning it - but it will be a different Spurs side that take to the field on Saturday.

Jelavic is set for his home debut Credit: Press Association

Tim Sherwood has replaced Andre Villas-Boas at the helm and brought with him a new, all-out attacking style which has served him relatively well so far.

The system failed in a 5-1 loss to Manchester City on Wednesday, but Bruce is reading little into that.

"Anybody who plays Manchester City loses 5-1 or 4-1," he said.

Jelavic and Long are set for their home debuts and Robbie Brady (groin) is in contention as Hull go in search of a first home win over Tottenham since October 1977.

Bruce relishes Norwich reunion

Hull City will travel to Norwich tomorrow armed with a brand new strike force.

Republic of Ireland international, Shane Long today completed a £7 million transfer from West Brom and goes straight into the squad alongside Nikica Jelavic, who signed from Everton earlier in the week.

Manager Steve Bruce will be hoping they can provide the spark against a team he knows very well:

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