Hull City happy to gamble again: Squad players to face Leyton Orient in FA Cup third round replay
HULL City boss Steve Bruce will have no hesitation taking another selection gamble in tonight's FA Cup third round replay at Leyton Orient, urging his fringe players to make the most of a second chance.
With one eye on a Championship promotion bid, Bruce will again test the depth of his squad as the Tigers attempt to book a safe passage past Orient at the second time of asking this evening.
Wholesale changes in the first meeting 10 days ago saw City struggle to see off their League One opponents and Bruce's men needed Nick Proschwitz's stoppage-time equaliser to force a replay in a 1-1 draw at the KC.
A fourth round tie at home to Barnsley awaits the winners of the Brisbane Road clash and Bruce wants to see a selection dilemma stirred up ahead of this weekend's trip to Peterborough in the Championship.
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"It's another good chance for a lot of players to go there and give me food for thought," Bruce told the Mail.
"The same challenge was there in the first game but no one stood up and took that chance.
"I want someone to give me a problem. I want someone to stand up and say 'You should be playing me' when the next game comes around.
"The first game 10 days ago will have done them the world of good, I'm sure.
"When you make so many changes to the side, then that's a threat, but it was a risk you have to take when you've got a squad with players who need to play.
"I've got no regrets about that. We didn't want a replay, of course, but that's the task in front of us.
"We're not coming all the way down here for a wasted journey that's for sure. We want to win."
Bruce will be forced into at least four changes from the weekend defeat to Sheffield Wednesday.
Robert Koren (heel), Sone Aluko (Achilles), David Meyler and Robbie Brady (both ineligible) will not feature tonight, leaving Jay Simpson and Proschwitz as the forwards tasked with firing City into the fourth round.
A chance for Simpson will be particularly appreciated after he missed a late penalty in Saturday's 3-1 defeat to the Owls.
Having started the season with five goals in nine games, the 23-year-old has only managed one in the next 18 to fall down the attacking pecking order.
Bruce remains content with Simpson's contributions but admits tonight's game is a chance for him and several players to respond.
"Jay's not scored the goals he would have liked in the last couple of months," said Bruce.
"But then we've not scored as many goals as a team as I would have liked so I'm not going to pin any blame on him.
"He started the season very well and, like any striker, he's judged on how many goals he's scoring.
"Jay always adds something to the team and overall I still believe he's having a good season.
"He'll want to take his chance and get a goal I'm sure but then the same can be said for the likes of Nick Proschwitz and Tom Cairney."