28 August 2014 11:13
Hull City boss Steve Bruce is convinced his side will reach the UEFA Europa League’s group stage on Thursday.
Hull trail Lokeren of Belgium 1-0 in their two-legged play-off but host the return clash at the KC Stadium.
And Bruce – who said he is more than aware of the pros and cons that come with reaching the group stage – wants his players to take the game to their opponents.
“It’s vitally important that we play at a level which we’re comfortable with and the one thing about the Premier League to other leagues is the pace,” he said.
“The tempo [and] the quickness to it is the main difference. So we’ve got [to] play at our pace to make sure that we are on the front foot against them.
“We’ve got a squad of depth which I’m very, very comfortable with.
“We made wholesale changes last week [in the first leg], I don’t think it’s going to be as many this week but we’ll certainly make a few.
“It’s quite simple, we’ve got to win the match and we’re capable of that, no matter what line-up I pick, we’re capable of winning the game.
“We know that we’d love to be in the next stages; to get in the group stages would be terrific for the club, we’re aware of that. We’re also aware of how difficult it is with all the pitfalls that come with it.
“We’ll be going all out to try and get a result and get us through to the league situation which we’d all look forward to.”
But while Bruce wants a positive approach from Hull, he said they will not be taking their opponents lightly.
“The one thing you can’t be is gung-ho,” he added.
“They’re good opposition, they’ve got some good players. You don’t finish fifth in the Belgian league and win the [domestic] cup if you’re not a good side.”
New defender Michael Dawson is ineligible on Thursday for Hull, who beat Slovakia’s Trencin to reach the play-off stages of Europe’s second-tier competition.