sport

Bruce blasts fixture pile-up

Steve Bruce was left bemused by the scheduling of Hull City's replay against Brighton after seeing his side battle back to earn a 1-1 draw at the Amex Stadium.

The Tigers were facing elimination when Leonardo Ulloa scored for the hosts after half an hour, but Yannick Sagbo's strike five minutes from time salvaged a replay.

Hull also have a relegation battle on their hands and UEFA regulations mean the cup replay at the KC Stadium will be replayed next Monday after important league games for both sides on Saturday.

Whilst happy to still be in the competition, with a home quarter-final against Sunderland awaiting the winners of the replay, Bruce could not understand the fixture pile-up.

"I find that ridiculous, I have to tell you," the City boss, whose side travel to Cardiff in the Premier League, said.

"Surely we could play on the same night as the Champions League, you would have thought.

"I think it is a UEFA rule, which reads nobody plays on the same night as the Champions League. We'll have to take it as it is and deal with it as it comes.

"It is quite a bizarre one, isn't it? For them to say to the FA that we can't play the same night as they are playing the Champions League.

"I don't think there will be many tuning out of Barcelona against Manchester City to tune into Hull versus Brighton, no disrespect.

"But there you have it, they think it's going to clash. Is it going to be a real problem for them? I somehow doubt it."

For Hull, the biggest positive from the match was the return of Sone Aluko. Making his first start after four months out with an Achilles injury, the 24-year-old forward played the full match and provided the assist for Sagbo's equaliser.

"He got better as the match went on," Bruce added. "I wasn't planning 90 minutes for him.

"I was speaking to him every 10 minutes and he was okay physically and it was his bit of magic that kept us in it.

"It will be good for him next Monday as well, so he can pencil that one in."