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Aug 23, 2014

Bruce out to emulate Stoke

Hull CityHull City
Stoke CityStoke City
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Steve Bruce wants Hull to use Stoke's blueprint for their own success in the Barclays Premier League.

The Tigers host the Potters on Sunday with manager Bruce hoping to build on last season's 16th placed finish.

Both sides were promoted to the Premier League in 2008 but the Potters have stayed in England's top tier ever since - reaching Europe after being beaten FA Cup finalists in 2011.

Hull's stay lasted only two seasons but they returned last term and Bruce - who has had two bids for Blackburn's Jordan Rhodes rejected this week - hopes to achieve similar success to that enjoyed at the Britannia Stadium.

"This club went up with Stoke in 2008, and they've been there ever since," he told the Tigers' official website.

"That shows how they've progressed and what they've done in those years. That has to be my aim, to copy something like Stoke.

"They have a nucleus of some very good players. Mark Hughes is changing the way they want to play and they are a good side."

The game comes three days after Hull lost the first leg of their Europa League qualifying play-off tie 1-0 against Lokeren in Belgium.

Bruce is confident the Tigers will shrug off that disappointment and avoid a Europa League hangover that has afflicted many English sides competing in the competition in past campaigns.

He added: "Stoke have had all week to prepare and that is an advantage. We haven't had the chance to do any preparation work. We recovered from Thursday on Friday and we'll do some preparation on Saturday.

"I made nine changes on Thursday night, so hopefully we'll be fresh enough to get the three points that we need."

Goalkeeper Allan McGregor, whose error led to Lokeren's winner on Thursday, is the Tigers' only fitness concern for Sunday's encounter after he picked up a shoulder injury.

"To get back-to-back wins in the Premier League would be great. I don't think we've done that for about a year so it shows how hard it is," said Bruce.

He is expected to make wholesale changes but is without the suspended Yannick Sagbo and Robert Snograss, who has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a dislocated knee.

They miss out as Marc Wilson insists Stoke must recover from their opening-day defeat to Aston Villa.

The defender admitted the disappointment from the 1-0 home reverse hit the side hard after Andreas Weimann's winner stole the points for the visitors.

Stoke are expected to do well in the top flight this season and Wilson knows they cannot afford a hangover.

"It was a set-back for us, and we are all still hurting from the result," Wilson told Stoke City Player.

"We just weren't able to hit the levels we hit last season (which finished with Stoke in ninth, the club's record-high Premier League final position), both as a team and on a personal level, and that was frustrating.

"We had come through a good pre-season, added a number of new players to the squad and we were really expecting to start the season better than we did.

"For us to have produced the kind of performance that we did was a real kick in the stomach to be honest.

"It's a disappointment we are determined to bounce straight back from however, and we have a real chance of doing that against Hull.

"We know that we need to be better, and we know that we have to learn from the mistakes we made last weekend. We are itching to get those three points on the board."

Stoke are without Stephen Ireland, who suffered a chest injury in training to rule him out for at least two weeks but United States defender Geoff Cameron and Nigeria striker Peter Odemwingie are available after their extended break following the World Cup.

Hughes is confident Robert Huth will be available, despite the defender feeling a slight twinge in his knee while over-stretching.

Victor Moses could make his debut after his season-long loan move from Chelsea with Hughes deciding whether the Nigeria forward will be fit enough after a lack of game time in pre-season.

Dionatan Teixeira, Andy Wilkinson, Ryan Shotton, Wilson Palacios and Brek Shea were also absent last week with Palacios linked with Villa and Derby interested in Shotton.

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