STEVE BRUCE has no concerns over Steve Harper once more stepping into the breach for Hull City after first-choice goalkeeper Allan McGregor was ruled out for at least a month.
The Scottish international, who has started all but one of the Tigers’ 11 league and Cup games this term, has been ordered to rest having sought the opinion of a specialist over a persistent shoulder injury that has troubled him in recent weeks.
No surgery will be required, but McGregor is still expected to be out for between four and six weeks, meaning 39-year-old Harper is in for a decent run in the side.
Bruce said: “Steve played something like 13 or 14 times for us last year and never let us down.
“That’s exactly what I expected and I am hoping he can go and steady the ship again with his calming influence.”
Harper, who is studying for his coaching badges at the moment, was linked with a possible move into management when the Carlisle United job came up recently. However, Bruce does not believe the goalkeeper is ready to hang up his gloves just yet.
The Hull chief added: “It is like any player when you get to a certain age.
“If you have a bad game, the first thing you think is ‘Well it must be time to call it a day’.
“The thing you need to listen to is your body. That is the moment when you know you are not capable of getting up and training every day. It is funny how it creeps up on you.
“But I don’t think that is the case with Steve Harper. To be fair to him, he looks better now than he did 12 months ago which is testament to him.
“He knows what to eat, what to drink and how to train. You look after yourself better than you do when you are 21 and Steve has done that.”