View all 18 updates ›

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.

More top news