Steve Bruce unsure if Gedo is ready to step up and boost Hull City's attack
STEVE Bruce admits he is haunted by thoughts of what might have been as he attempts to guide Hull City to promotion without his brightest attacking lights.
The Tigers stumbled to an all too familiar fate when beaten 1-0 at Brighton on Saturday as an effective performance was fatally undermined by profligacy in front of goal.
City's first away defeat since November 10 left Bruce craving the predatory skills of Matty Fryatt, who is ruled out for the season with an Achilles injury, and top goalscorer Sone Aluko, a victim of the same injury for much of the last three months.
A failure to land a recognised striker in the January window only exacerbated the Tigers' problem and Bruce said: "We are a good side but not taking chances is stopping us becoming an excellent side at this level. I would love to see Aluko and Fryatt linking up because it hasn't been possible. But that is football.
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"We have to remember we have been without Aluko for two months and he has been our best player. We have also been without Matty Fryatt. He consistently gets 15-20 goals every season so those are two big players missing.
"We were let down by DJ Campbell (who opted to join Blackburn). No matter what anyone else says. We thought he was our player, but, unfortunately, it didn't happen and that has left us in the lurch. But we dust ourselves down and get ready to go again."
With just three goals in five league games since the turn of the year, the root of City's problems remains clear.
Robert Koren, David Meyler, Robbie Brady and Ahmed Elmohamady all had opportunities to earn a valuable win at Brighton on Saturday but City were denied by their poor finishing and the quality of Brighton keeper Tomasz Kuszczak.
Bruce is exploring the possibility of strengthening in the emergency loan market and is awaiting a response from Peterborough over their playmaker George Boyd.
He said: "We made an enquiry. That is all we did. He is someone who is out of contract in the summer and we enquired about him. We will see what the next 24 to 48 hours bring."
Aluko remains at least another week away from his return and that leaves Bruce working with his current options when Derby County visit the KC tomorrow night.
Egyptian striker Gedo made his debut as a 70th-minute substitute at Brighton, but Bruce was unsure if the forward and defender Ahmed Fathi are yet ready.
He added: "Can they get up to speed quickly? They haven't played any competitive football for eight months apart from internationals, and they have been friendlies in the main.
"Looking at training on Friday, that is the big question. It's too early to say."
Bruce's options took a further blow on Saturday after son Alex was forced off after 29 minutes. A dead leg could now rule him out of the home clash with Derby.