Hull City's Steve Bruce has appetite for a spicy encounter at Leicester
STEVE Bruce was a man in demand as Hull City opened up the gates of their training ground ahead of the trip to Leicester.
As well as a cluster of radio reporters and newspaper journalists, three television crews were on hand to film the handover of Bruce's first award as City boss.
The F&C Investments Performance of the Week prize, voted for by his peers at the League Managers' Association, now sits in Bruce's office at the Tigers' Cottingham training complex to commemorate the club's 3-2 win at Leeds United on Tuesday.
A small crystal football stands as the first symbol of the Tigers' heartening progress. Secure an unbeaten end to September, at Leicester on Sunday and at home to Peterborough next weekend, and the Championship's monthly award will surely be next.
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Bruce was at pains to play down the significance of City's three-game winning sequence this week, but another win on the road this weekend and keeping a lid on expectations will be a thankless task.
"I said at the start of the week that this was going to be our acid test," said Bruce. "We've come through one of those and now we go to Leicester who have won three out of three at home.
"They are formidable on their own patch, but we go there full of confidence. If we can play as we know we can, we'll certainly give Leicester a game.
"Leicester are in and amongst the favourites for this division, and rightly so with the money they invested last year.
"They've got a nucleus of a very decent team and there's also that added spice with Nigel Pearson being involved against his former club.
"Our outlook is very positive at the minute and we go there with nothing to fear."
The "spice" referred to by Bruce elevates Sunday's fixture at Leicester high above the ordinary for City supporters.
Pearson's abrupt return to Leicester last November left a bitter taste for some fans to digest but the sub-plot is of no concern to Bruce.
"I'm sure it was a difficult job for Nigel here, it's never easy taking over a side that's just been relegated," he said.
"Nigel and his backroom staff had a huge job here turning the club around and he did a decent job, you can't take that away from him.
"He's a good manager who has his teams well organised.
"But for me the focus is on us doing our jobs well and if we play like we did in the last two games, they'd better play well to get something from us."
Two reunions with Pearson last season, a 2-1 win at the KC and a 2-1 loss at the King Power Stadium, have tempered the hostility felt towards City's former boss.
An unkind reception from the away fans will again be guaranteed, though, as the Tigers attempt to break Leicester's perfect home record.
A change in tack from City has been noted by Pearson and he is alert to the free-scoring Tigers.
Pearson said: "Sunday's game presents a challenge for us in the sense that the system they have adopted is an interesting one, but it suits the players they have got. I think it will be an interesting game.
"They have had a very good start to the season and we will have to be at our best to get the three points.
"But having said that I am sure they are aware of how we are playing, and they will know that even in games when we have not come away with the three points we have been a good side at times in those games."