MANAGER Steve Bruce has hinted at big changes tomorrow when Hull City look to revive their fading automatic promotion hopes.
The Tigers travel to Huddersfield Town knowing they now have little margin for error in the quest for the top two.
Tuesday night’s 4-0 hammering at Derby County has left Hull seven points adrift and closer to seventh–placed Cardiff City than Middlesbrough in that final promotion berth.
“We have to recover from Derby – it is as simple as that,” said Bruce ahead of tomorrow’s return to his former club. “We have to get ready and I have got people who are champing at the bit to play. I will look at that and see if we need to freshen up with different personnel.
“After Tuesday night, no one can come knocking on my door asking why they are not playing on Saturday.
“That is the disappointing thing from Tuesday, the level where we were at is nowhere near what we are capable of.”
Bruce is forced into one change by Moses Odubajo being suspended following his red card at the iPro Stadium.
But his re-jig is unlikely to end there, with top scorer Abel Hernandez set to return up front after two games on the bench.
Experienced pair Shaun Maloney and David Meyler are also pushing for a recall, while a switch of formation is a possibility. One consideration, however, will be Huddersfield head coach David Wagner’s strict adherence to a 4-2-3-1 formation – something that, if Hull did opt for three at the back, would leave gaps elsewhere due to the sole focus being on lone forward Nahki Wells.
Whoever does get the nod, Bruce admits there can be no repeat of Tuesday when the team’s character was called into question.
“It is up to them to show their character, resilience and bottle,” he added. “Only they can respond and I hope they can. I am confident they can. We have got experienced players playing in this team. Before Derby, there wasn’t too much wrong with the performances. But, on Tuesday, there was something wrong.
“I actually thought we were better with 10 men. We showed a bit of urgency and bottle. Once they got the third it was too much to try and claw back.
“There have been a couple of lows this season. Charlton away, Rotherham away. But Derby came right in the thick of it and I expected us to show a bit more resilience and gumption than we did.”