SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY: Hull boss Steve Bruce runs out of patience

Starter: Ex-Blade Stephen Quinn will face the Owls
Starter: Ex-Blade Stephen Quinn will face the Owls

WEDNESDAY have long been striving to cut down the number of goals they have been conceding - but tomorrow’s opponents have hit the same problem.

Like Dave Jones before him, Hull boss Steve Bruce has been bemoaning defensive errors.

Hull have slipped to three successive defeats - the most recent at home to Blackpool on Tuesday, when they led 2-1 but went down 3-2.

They have also lost 3-1 at Leicester and suffered a shock 3-1 home defeat by bottom club Peterborough last Saturday.

Bruce could make changes tomorrow. “You can’t keep accepting the mistakes, so the only thing I can do is shake it up a bit,” he said.

Wednesday will look for more of the new-found tightness that they showed in last Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Wolves - and look to defend against crosses better than they did in the 3-3 thriller at Burnley.

Bruce will be without his son Alex, the former Wednesday loan defender, who went off in the first half on Tuesday with a groin injury.

He joined fellow centre-backs James Chester and Jack Hobbs on the injured list, and a shortage of central defenders could mean the manager switching from the 3-5-2 formation that he has used for the last eight games, to 4-4-1-1 or 4-4-2.

One sure starter is former United star Stephen Quinn, who switched to Hull in August.

The left-side midfielder scored in the 2-2 Sheffield derby draw at Bramall Lane last October, and has hit two goals for his new club, one of them on Tuesday.

But defending is at the top of Bruce’s agenda. He says: “We’ve got to stop ridiculous mistakes. “We played really well against Peterborough and against Blackpool, but shot ourselves in the foot again,” he said.

““We’ve got to try and remain positive. It’s been a horrible week in terms of what we’ve conceded.

“In back-to-back home games we’ve done enough to win but you can’t do that when you’re making the mistakes that we are making.

“You could certainly say I’ve had a word with one or two of them.

“We had to learn our lessons from the weekend (after the Peterborough defeat), but if anything I thought we were possibly worse, especially having got ourselves back into the game with two very good goals.

“But if you don’t defend properly at a set-piece, from a kick from their goalkeeper where our centre-half mis-heads it, somebody is out of position and our keeper then has a rush of blood - it’s a comedy of errors which has cost us dearly.

“We’re making too many mistakes and we have to act on that.

“We have been hindered by the loss of a couple of defenders, but that is no excuse. Experienced players or not, they’ve made big errors that have cost us dearly.

“No disrespect to Kevin Phillips, but when he’s running in behind us at his age then there is something blatantly wrong.”

The Hull boss believes that tomorrow’s game at Hillsborough represents a test of character for his team.

“What’s happened is a shame because we had a really good start to the season,” he says.

“But now we’ll find out about what we’ve got. We’ll see what we’re like now that we’re up against it and, make no mistake, we are.

“Giving the goals away that we have done - we’ve got to do something different.”