Bruce looking for resilience from Tigers as high-flying Palace await

David Stockdale
David Stockdale
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ONLY new signing David Stockdale emerged with praise from manager Steve Bruce as Hull City slipped to their third home defeat of the season against Burnley.

But the 27-year-old Leeds-born goalkeeper is certain that confidence has not taken a knock ahead of tonight’s match against second-placed Crystal Palace, who suffered an even bigger shock reverse at Leeds United.

“We have got our finger on where we could improve and I’m sure we will work hard on the training ground and put that right for Tuesday,” said Stockdale, signed on emergency loan deadline day from Fulham.

“Every game is of high significance when you are in the position Hull City are in and it could be a big Christmas period for us.

“We didn’t lose much ground on Saturday and two wins this week (Hull are at Nottingham Forest on Saturday) will ensure we are right in there. I am sure with the players we have got, that we will kick on,” said Stockdale, whose deal expires in January, although Fulham have an immediate recall clause.

Manager Bruce must decide whether to stick with the 4-4-2 formation he employed in the second half against the Clarets or revert to 3-5-2. Much will depend on the players available for his fifth-placed side with central defender Alex Bruce (knee) and wing-back Liam Rosenior (groin) both doubtful.

Manchester United loanee Robbie Brady impressed at left-back and David Meyler, on loan from Sunderland, in midfield after being introduced at half-time on Saturday and are pressing for starts along with Paul McShane.

Bruce said: “We have got to show some resilience. We have lost at home to Blackpool, Peterborough and now Burnley and we have to take something out of games like that. You can’t play at the same level week-in, week-out but at least you can take something out of it.”

As far as tonight’s game against Ian Holloway’s side is concerned, he added: “They are all big challenges. It’s a really difficult and tough league because of the inconsistency of it.”

Last six games: Hull WWWLWL, Crystal Palace WWWWWL.

Last time: Hull 0 Crystal Palace 1; August 20, 2011; Championship.

Referee: D Drysdale (Lincs).