Striker Simpson returns hoping to spark Bruce’s shot-shy Tigers

Just when it appeared Hull City had finally overcome their goalscoring problems, two successive blanks in front of goal have set them back.

The Tigers looked to have rediscovered their shooting boots as they found the net in every game since the end of August, with Steve Bruce’s side more often than not striking more than once in a game.

In recent seasons, putting the ball in the net has been their Achilles heel, and it has returned to plague them as they failed to hit the target in the 1-0 defeat to Burnley last Saturday and the goalless draw with Crystal Palace on Tuesday.

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“There were plenty of people guilty in the last week,” said Bruce. “Nick Proschwitz had one chance, Stephen Quinn’s had a couple, Aaron Mclean and Sone Aluko have had a couple and Robert Koren... well, you’d lay your money on him scoring 99 times out of 100.

“The chances are there and I hope the players we’ve got here step up to the plate and start sticking them away.

“The number of chances we create, someone is going to be on the end of a hiding sooner or later.”

Sixth-placed Hull are the lowest scorers in the play-off picture but with the countdown to the reopening of the transfer window in January now on, Bruce is adamant he will not succumb to any knee-jerk reactions.

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He said: “Just because we’ve missed chances I can’t turn around and say I’m off out to buy someone else.

“It doesn’t always work out, sometimes buying a new striker is not always the solution.

“Up until the last few weeks it hasn’t really been a problem, but there’s a danger that it’s coming back. We have to improve.”

Jay Simpson could spark the shot-shy Tigers at Forest today, after he was rested against Palace in midweek.

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“I just detected a little bit of fatigue in Jay,” said Bruce. “It’s the first time in a long time that he’s played so many games week-in and week-out.

“He’s only scored one in the last 10 and that was a concern.

“Hopefully, we’ll see him back firing like he was at the start of the season.”