Hull City boss Steve Bruce says side must adapt to winter conditions to maintain promotion push
STEVE Bruce is confident Hull City's hunt for automatic promotion remains firmly on course, but is urging his side to adapt to new challenges over the winter weeks.
The Tigers have struggled to replicate their outstanding form of December since the turn of the year, collecting just two points from a possible nine against sides from the bottom half of the Championship.
A 1-1 draw at Peterborough extended City's unbeaten away run to six league games, but a 50th point of the campaign was not enough to reclaim second spot in the Championship from an in-form Leicester.
City fell some way short of their fluent best on an unyielding London Road surface and Bruce suggested a short-term change of philosophy may be required.
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"We've got to adapt to the winter because it can be difficult," said Bruce.
"The pitch at Blackpool and the pitch at Peterborough were not conducive at all to the way we like to play football. We took points from both games and although there was the Sheffield Wednesday game in between, there's no concerns for me just yet.
"We're picking up points and we're still joint-second in the league going into February. January has gone in terms of the league and we're still right in the thick of things. We have to be pleased with that."
Although Joe Newell's first-half own goal was eventually chalked off by Grant McCann's 79th minute penalty, City could toast a half century of points to draw joint-second with Leicester.
Such a landmark was not reached until February 23 of the 2007-08 promotion season and the Tigers will look to build when they travel to Millwall and Brighton early next month following this weekend's FA Cup fourth round clash with Barnsley.
The extra-time win over Leyton Orient at Brisbane Road remains City's only victory of 2013 and Bruce admits it was frustrating not to hold out for three points.
"Full credit to the people who got the game on and also a big thanks to our hundreds of supporters who made the journey down," he said.
"I just wish we had been able to hang on for the win.
"We know ourselves we haven't played anywhere near what we're capable of but it was a difficult game for both sides.
"David Stockdale hasn't had a shot to save really.
"We're disappointed because I couldn't see them scoring.
"It was a rash challenge (from James Chester) but I've got no complaints."