Forest v Hull: Team ethic key for Bruce if Tigers are to sustain challenge

Hull City manager Steve Bruce. Picture: Tony Johnson

Hull City manager Steve Bruce. Picture: Tony Johnson

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HULL CITY lie fourth in the Championship but, a couple of half hour spells in games apart, they are yet truly to click.

It is a worrying thought for the Yorkshire club’s rivals, especially with Jake Livermore now firmly back in the fold and expected to start today at Nottingham Forest.

Steve Bruce, though, knows actions speak louder than words and the Tigers’ manager wants to see more consistency from his side after back-to-back home games that saw four points dropped.

“I am quite happy with the squad of players we have got,” said Bruce.

“We have got to start performing and I am not just talking about individuals – we have got to start performing as a team.

“That is of more interest to me, individuals performing within the team and the structure to get a base from which we can mount a challenge.

“We have to do what we did last time in the Championship (when winning promotion in 2012-13), we have got to go 10 or 12 games (unbeaten). If I didn’t think we were capable of that, I wouldn’t be saying it.

“We are certainly capable of it and now we have to start producing it.”

Hull were left frustrated after those two draws on home soil against QPR and Blackburn Rovers. The club’s last away trip, however, yielded three points and one of their better performances as Cardiff City were beaten 2-0 in south Wales.

It was Hull’s first win on the road and came courtesy of a switch to the 3-5-2 formation that served Bruce so well during the promotion-winning campaign of three years ago.

Whether he sticks with that set-up today depends on whether Curtis Davies and Andrew Robertson shake off knocks, plus Alex Bruce’s recovery from a groin strain.

If that trio is available, Bruce could stick with a three-man defence as he looks to head into the international break on the back of a win.

That fortnight without a game will see Robert Snodgrass continue his rehabilitation with Bruce revealing the Scotland international is closing in on a possible return after spending the past 14 months on the sidelines.

Former Leeds United midfielder Snodgrass dislocated his knee on the opening day of last season and has not played since.

Bruce said: “At the moment, he is looking terrific.

“If he keeps progressing like he has done in the last couple of weeks, then we are hoping that maybe by the end of October he’ll be coming back into the pack.”

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