Hull City will mount 'cavalry charge' for promotion charge, says Steve Bruce
STEVE Bruce insists his Hull City side have all the qualities required to ensure they are not found wanting in a final "cavalry charge" towards the Premier League.
The Tigers' automatic promotion hopes were dealt a cruel blow on Saturday as they squandered a half-time advantage to suffer an unjust 2-1 loss to in-form Nottingham Forest at the KC Stadium.
A third defeat in five games saw City miss the opportunity to pull clear in second place in the Championship, but a 1-0 loss for third-placed Watford at Barnsley and a 3-0 defeat for Crystal Palace at Brighton means the Tigers can still enjoy the international break as the side to catch.
A sequence of eight games inside the final five weeks of the season, a run that begins at Huddersfield on March 30, will decide City's fate, and Bruce is certain his side will bounce back.
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"You get over it, you simply have to," said Bruce.
"We've got a break for a couple of weeks and we're hoping that all our internationals come back all right.
"The one thing we've shown all year is a resilience and an ability to bounce back from results like these.
"We'll do that again, I'm convinced of that, because there's enough quality and enough endeavour to come back again. There's a great spirit amongst them.
"They didn't deserve that result at all. Sometimes it's cruel football and that was one of those cruel ones."
City felt an injustice as goals from Darius Henderson and Lewis McGugan overturned George Boyd's third strike in four starts.
Despite an onslaught late in the game, with Robbie Brady hitting the bar, it was the first time in Bruce's reign the Tigers had lost when scoring the opener.
The City boss had no complaints with his side's performance, though, and maintained an extension of that form will be enough over the final eight games.
He added: "They must remain confident that what we're doing is right. We'll dust ourselves down over the next couple of weeks and then get ready for the cavalry charge.
"It's eight games in five or six weeks and it'll be a big ask. But if we play like against Forest, we'll be okay."
CITY could be without defender Paul McShane for the televised trip to Huddersfield in 12 days after he was forced off after 28 minutes of Saturday's loss to Forest.
X-rays in his ankle showed no break but an MRI scan will take place today once the swelling has subsided. His withdrawal from the Republic of Ireland squad was confirmed over the weekend.
"I can't see him being ready," said Bruce. "He's got a really badly swollen ankle so we'll send him for x-rays and scans."
Bruce will hope for good fortune from the international scene as he waves off six players today.
Egyptian trio Ahmed Elmohamady, Gedo and Ahmed Fathi have travelled back to their homeland for their World Cup qualifier against Zimbabwe, while Robbie Brady and Alex Bruce will team up with the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland respectively.
Boyd will also hope to make his Scotland debut when they play host to Wales this Friday.
• Gallery: Hull City v Nottingham Forest in pictures