Hull City at Sheffield Wednesday: Don't panic, we look promising, says Steve Bruce
HULL City boss Steve Bruce believes supporters may need to stay patient before his "work in progress" at the KC Stadium delivers consistency this season.
An erratic run of form for the Tigers has seen three consecutive wins followed by three straight defeats and left Bruce desperately searching for a middle ground in fortune.
City's 3-2 defeat to Blackpool on Tuesday came four days after losing 3-1 to bottom-club Peterborough at the KC and ensures they travel to lowly Sheffield Wednesday this afternoon in need of a response before the international break.
An "awful" week has served to temper City's progress under Bruce, but he remains confident that a change in ethos will reap long-term rewards.
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"We've lost back-to-back home games, which is awful, but the fans understand what we're trying to do," Bruce told the Mail.
"Of course that won't last forever if they're not seeing their side win, but I believe the way we're trying to play is the best way forward.
"It's a period of change for the club. There's been a change of manager and staff and a change in philosophy, and it's still a work in progress. It's going to take time.
"I'd like to think people have been encouraged by what they've seen, but we've got to find consistency."
A return of 13 points from nine games leaves City in 10th as they approach the campaign's second international break.
A fall out of the top six has frustrated Bruce but, with just three points separating City from the play-offs, the onus is on retaining perspective.
"Like I said a couple of weeks ago, when people were getting carried away, it's a very long season in a crazy division," he added.
"We've had a couple of bad results but you can't panic, we've not had a quarter of the season yet.
"I tried to quell all the euphoria when we'd played some great stuff and picked up some wins, but I still believe we played well against Peterborough and Blackpool without a result.
"I've enjoyed watching us play, I really have, so we're not going to panic just because we've lost a couple.
"If we all knew what was going to happen every week, we'd all win the Pools wouldn't we?"
City, depleted by injuries to James Chester and Alex Bruce in the last seven days, will attempt to arrest their losing streak against an equally out-of-sorts Wednesday side today.
The Owls have taken just one point from 18 and will host City hunting a first league win since August 25.
Bruce anticipates a physical test and said: "We need a result, but we've got to keep our heads.
"Sheffield Wednesday are a big, strong powerful side and we'll have to be at our best."