Hull City v Leyton Orient: FA Cup call for McKenna, Dawson, McShane and Cairney
HULL City boss Steve Bruce intends to keep his promotion-chasing squad fresh by ringing the changes for Saturday's FA Cup third round tie at home to Leyton Orient.
The Tigers completed their festive fixtures with several first-team regulars feeling the effects of playing four games inside 12 days.
Ahmed Elmohamady, who missed the stalemate at Blackpool with a calf strain, will again sit out against Orient, with Robert Koren (heel) and Sone Aluko (calf) also unlikely to be risked.
Defender Jack Hobbs is another Bruce will be keen to rest after enduring a demanding return following an eight-month lay-off with knee ligament damage.
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The door will be open for Andy Dawson, Paul McKenna, Alex Bruce, Paul McShane, Tom Cairney and Nick Proschwitz to make the most of rare chances, and ensure City avoid a Cup upset against their League One visitors.
"I can't see Koren playing, I can't see Aluko playing and I can't see Hobbs playing either," said Bruce.
"We're going to need the squad and it will be important for a few of the lads who haven't been playing to get a game.
"There's a few lads who need a game. Alex, Paul McKenna, Andy Dawson all need to play. We'll have a look and see if we can accommodate them all."
Bruce always had Saturday's game earmarked as a chance to rest several first-team regulars, a ploy he also used for the League Cup trip to Doncaster at the end of August, a fixture City lost 3-2.
City now have an 11-day break from Championship before welcoming Sheffield Wednesday to the KC Stadium on January 12.
Bruce will be hopeful of seeing right wing-back Elmohamady back in time to face to Owls, but confirmed the Egyptian will not be involved this weekend.