sport

Sickness concern for Bruce

Hull City boss Steve Bruce plans to give his players some time off this week in an attempt to prevent a sickness bug spreading at the club.

Bruce is concerned he will lose some more of his squad through illness ahead of next weekend's game against Chelsea.

A handful of players and a couple of Bruce's backroom team contracted the illness in recent days, disrupting preparations for Saturday's FA Cup third-round trip to Middlesbrough.

Despite fielding a weakened team the Tigers progressed to the fourth-round of the competition as goals from Aaron McLean and Nick Proschwitz earned a 2-0 victory at the Riverside.

But Bruce hopes he will have the likes of Robbie Brady, Robert Koren and Alex Bruce back for the match with title-chasing Chelsea.

"We're going to give everybody a couple of days off away from the training ground," said Bruce.

"We sincerely hope it won't be a problem for us going forward but we have five or six struggling with it at the minute - a couple of staff and three or four players, including Koren, Alex and Brady who are away home and didn't travel with the lads.

"We have to be a bit careful in a confined area like the training ground so we'll stay away. We've had a gruelling schedule and we just hope it's not so bad that it sweeps ahead of everyone.

"I had something similar about two weeks ago and there's no way you could play with that. Let's hope it's not that bad."