STEVE BRUCE admits it will “take the mother of all twists” for Hull City to gatecrash the top two despite having three of their last four games at home.
Leeds United head to the KC Stadium tomorrow for a contest that is expected to attract a crowd of 20,000 plus.
City then host Brentford on Tuesday night in what is the club’s game in hand on the top three before Rotherham United head to the East Riding on the final day. Already relegated Bolton Wanderers complete the Tigers’ away schedule a week tomorrow, live in front of the Sky cameras.
Bruce’s side are ten points behind leaders Middlesbrough and eight adrift of Burnley in second place and Brighton & Hove Albion.
“We have given ourselves too much to do,” said the Hull chief. “Of course, you never give up hope. But when you see the form that three teams above us are in then you find it very difficult to believe two of those will collapse.
“We have to be realistic to realise it will take an almighty collapse for them. We just keep going. We have had a couple of games that, hopefully, has given us our form back due to having cemented our play-off place.
“That is vitally important. We have to go in with momentum, we have seen in the past that the team with that can do well in the play-offs.”
Back-to-back wins for City have revived hopes that the club can finish strongly and victory tomorrow over Leeds would take Bruce’s men on to 79 points, the same number they achieved when winning automatic promotion in 2013.
Asked about the chances of reeling in two from the current top three, Bruce added: “It could happen. We have seen almighty twists. But it will take the mother of all twists (for Hull to get in the top two). We never give it up but we have to be realistic.
“With the form of the other three, it would be an almighty collapse. We have to win the four. We are capable of that.
“It is disappointing because our run-in always looked okay. Four at home against mid-table opposition (in Hull’s last six games). In that respect, we are disappointed not to be three or four points better off.”
Michael Dawson is out and could be joined on the sidelines by Sone Aluko, who has a calf problem. Jake Livermore is back after being rested at Reading on Tuesday night and Mohamed Diame could also be available.