Bruce has food for thought
Hull City boss Steve Bruce admits he faces a selection poser as he attempts to piece together an FA Cup final side.
A date with Arsenal at Wembley is fast approaching for Bruce's men and all of those under consideration are determined to play their way to a starting berth.
A trip to Manchester United on Tuesday offered the latest window in which to shine and, while they suffered a 3-1 defeat at Old Trafford, Bruce says the performance on an evening which once again saw him shuffle his pack has offered food for thought.
He told Sky Sports: "It was a good work-out for us. A lot of people needed a game and it has given me something to think about with obviously the cup final in the next 10 days or so.
"It's a wonderful thing to have in the armoury at the moment. I can only pick XI of course and I'm going to disappoint a few, of course I am, but that's the nature of football. There are a lot of them that deserve to play but I can only pick XI."
Matty Fryatt did his claims to a cup final place no harm as he rattled home Hull's solitary reply against United, with a curling 25-yard effort giving David de Gea no chance.
He has caught the eye during sporadic outings this season and knows the Wembley door has been opened to him as striking rivals Nikica Jelavic and Shane Long will be ineligible against Arsenal.
Bruce added on a man who is also playing for a new contract at the KC Stadium: "Matty Fryatt showed us again what a good player he is.
"He has got a good goal today, made a difference when he came on, made a difference in the semi-final, so he has made a major statement for playing in the FA Cup final, that's for sure."
While Bruce hopes the immediate future for Hull includes major silverware, he also believes that the outlook is bright for his midweek conquerors.
The former United centre-half spent nine years at Old Trafford during his playing days and he feels the potential interim coach Ryan Giggs had at his disposal on Tuesday bodes well heading forward - with Adnan Januzaj again catching the eye and teenage striker James Wilson bagging a brace on his debut.
Bruce said of United, who have struggled at times this season and took the decision to part with manager David Moyes in April: "It can't be dark times when you have got someone like Januzaj. He's only 18 and looks like a real player, and obviously the other kid has scored as well.
"They are always going to produce young players, it's in the DNA here - they always want to and they always will do.
"In Januzaj, for me, they have got the outstanding player in Europe at the moment - at 18 he looks one hell of a player."