Hull City v Manchester United: Steve Bruce not worried about West Ham’s preparations

Steve Bruce has no concerns over the way Sam Allardyce, right, has prepared his West Ham team (Picture: PA).
Steve Bruce has no concerns over the way Sam Allardyce, right, has prepared his West Ham team (Picture: PA).
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IT hardly sounds ideal preparation for a game that could have huge ramifications in the fight for Premier League survival.

West Ham United, who travel to Newcastle United tomorrow, have had most of this week off with three players reportedly having spent Thursday night taking part in a celebrity challenge darts match at the O2 in London.

With Hull City needing a big favour from the Hammers, Steve Bruce and his men must hope that Sam Allardyce’s side will be up for the game on Tyneside despite such a relaxed build-up.

Bruce, a close friend of Allardyce, insists that will be the case.

“It (giving the squad most of the week off) can work for you or against you,” said the Tigers’ manager.

“But what Sam does with his team is his business. Knowing Sam the way I do, whoever he is playing he will want to win the game.

“I don’t think you are ever going to get a gift in our league. The honesty and integrity of the league is there for everyone to see so I am sure West Ham will be trying to get a result just like every week.”

Asked if he had spoken to Allardyce, who seems certain to leave Upton Park after the season is over, Bruce replied: “I spoke to him last week, but I didn’t really mention that game. I speak to him every other week but not this week.”

Bruce heads into Hull’s game needing to end a hoodoo as a manager against his old club. In 21 previous meetings dating back to his time at Birmingham City in 2002, the 54-year-old is yet to win and has managed just four draws.

To further underline the dominance the Red Devils have enjoyed over their former captain, Bruce’s sides have failed to score in two thirds of those matches.

“First you have got to play well on the day,” said Bruce when asked what was key to changing that unenviable record.

“In those matches against Manchester United, there has been a few draws in there and a few times when we could have won the game.

“To be fair, there is not many who will have beaten Fergie (Sir Alex Ferguson) when he was there. Or in the last couple of years when it hasn’t been him. But we know if we play to the best of our ability, we are capable.”