Hull City to play four at the back as Steve Bruce accepts change needed
STEVE Bruce accepts he will be forced to abandon his three-man defence when an injury-hit Hull City travel to Sheffield Wednesday tomorrow.
The Tigers make the short journey to Hillsborough attempting to end a miserable week on a high following back-to-back home defeats against Peterborough and Blackpool.
As well as halting City's early progress in the new Championship season, the last two fixtures have seen defenders James Chester and Alex Bruce ruled out with injuries until after the international break.
It leaves only Abdoulaye Faye left standing from Bruce's original three-man defence, and the City boss hinted he will revert to a 4-4-2 formation as they go in search of a return to winning ways.
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Asked if he had the personnel to retain the shape, Bruce said: "Probably not. I'm a big believer in putting round pegs in round holes.
"I'm not really one for playing people out of position because a game of football is hard enough, never mind when you're playing out of position.
"Unfortunately, we might have to change the shape because we've got three centre-halves, including Jack Hobbs, missing and that's a blow."
Paul McShane appears likely to partner Faye in the heart of a four-man defence tomorrow, with Bruce toying with recalls for experienced full-backs Liam Rosenior and Andy Dawson.
Rosenior is a natural fit for the right-back slot, having excelled there for much of his City career, while Dawson could be in line for a first league start of the season at left-back if Joe Dudgeon's knee injury requires rest.
Amhed Elmohamady and Stephen Quinn could then fill the wide positions in a 4-4-2 shape, but Bruce would have decisions to make on the composition of his central midfield.
Although Seyi Olofinjana and Robert Koren have been regular starters in a 3-5-2 shape, both Paul McKenna and Corry Evans will also be in Bruce's thoughts.
The City boss will keep faith with his current squad for now and, despite speculation about moves in the transfer market, he dismissed the notion of fresh blood arriving.
"I'm not looking to strengthen," said Bruce, who could see son Alex and Chester back in time to face Ipswich after the international break.
"I'll only go and ask the owners, who have been so supportive, if there's something available that's better than what we've got.
"Quinn and Elmohamady, for example, have come in and improved us. I don't want to panic just because we've got a couple of injuries."
A damaging run of three consecutive defeats has brought a fall to 10th in the Championship, ensuring they head to the Steel City in need of a response tomorrow.
"I would hope our confidence hasn't taken a hit, you've got to remain positive," added Bruce.
"It's been an awful week for us in terms of results, but if you look at how we performed, we should still be able to find positives. If we can eradicate the mistakes, I don't believe we're doing a lot wrong.
"We should be four points better off, arguably even six. But we're not and we must look to keep moving."