Hull City at Millwall: 'Don't panic, have a bit of trust', Steve Bruce tells fans
STEVE Bruce has assured supporters there is no cause for panic as Hull City face Millwall today without a proven goalscorer added to their ranks during the January transfer window.
Despite his best attempts to recruit a recognised attacking threat last month, Bruce was only able to land Egyptian international Gedo on a six-month loan deal from Al Ahly.
Injury to top goalscorer Sone Aluko, who still faces at least four more weeks out, leaves Nick Proschwitz and Jay Simpson as the only available strikers for City's testing trip.
Having seen last year's Championship promotion bid unravel due to a lack of potency under former boss Nick Barmby, a frustrating month has triggered fears a similar fate could befall Bruce's men.
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However, the City boss is in bullish mood as his side bids to close the gap on second-placed Leicester and believes the squad has earned the "trust" of uneasy supporters.
Bruce said: "My message to supporters? Don't panic and have a bit of trust. We've come a long way in six months and made a lot of progress.
"We've been unfortunate to lose Aluko and Matty Fryatt in the way we have, but Sone will be fit in a few weeks.
"I keep saying it but any new player we sign has to be right.
"It would have been easy for me to go out and bring in bodies but that's not what we want to do. I've never done that and I'm not about to start now.
"We've got an excellent group of players. Yes, we would have liked a bit more firepower but we'll be okay, I'm convinced of it."
Bruce will have been glad to bid farewell to January.
As well as taking just two points from a possible nine to lose their grip on second, City last week found themselves dumped out of the FA Cup by strugglers Barnsley at the KC.
Aluko's Achilles injury aggravated midway through the month did little to help matters before DJ Campbell's snub on Thursday put the lid on a largely irritable start to 2012.
A short camp in Portugal this week afforded City time together on the training pitch and Bruce delivered a message to rid his squad of deflation.
"We know it's a difficult league and we've deserved to be where we are," he added.
"We've been going for six months and we've done fantastically well.
"We've had a stumble but we've had a great week of training and let's go and kick on. Let's go and embrace it and enjoy it, don't be frightened by it.
"No one gave us a hope at the start of the season so please go and enjoy it."
Since returning from Portugal on Thursday, City's squad has been bolstered by the return of influential winger Ahmed Elmohamady.
International team-mates Gedo and Ahmed Fathi are expected to follow next week in time to face Brighton.
David Meyler, Robbie Brady and David Stockdale took the January trading to six incoming players and Bruce believes the retention of his stars that galloped through December can set the season back on track.
"The most important thing was always to ensure we kept the ones that made us a really good side," he said.
"That means Stockdale, Elmohamady, Brady and Meyler. In that respect we've got to be delighted.
"For one reason or another, we've been disrupted over the last few weeks. If it wasn't one player coming or going, it was another.
"That probably disrupted us and a full week's training, which we've not had for a couple of weeks, will hopefully do the trick."