Hull boss Steve Bruce urges Championship leaders to show credentials

Hull City manager Steve Bruce during the Sky Bet Championship match against Brentford at Griffin Park, Brentford.
Image: Steve Bruce looking forward to welcoming fellow high-flying Boro to the KC

Steve Bruce has urged his Championship leaders Hull City to lay down an early marker in the race for promotion when they host fellow high-flyers Middlesbrough on Saturday.

The Tigers have climbed to the top of the table, ahead of Burnley on goal difference, after four straight wins but just one point separates the leading five teams.

Middlesbrough are one of the chasing pack, sitting fourth ahead of Saturday's clash at the KC Stadium, and Aitor Karanka's men could overtake their opponents with an away victory.

"It's a big game at the top end of the Championship," Bruce said. "Nothing is going to be decided from the outcome, but it will give you an idea of where you are and where you're up to.

"We've played very, very well of late and we're on a good run, so let's hope that we can continue that against one of the in-form teams in the Championship."

When a team has an experienced manager, the team is a reflection of him and he is a Premier League manager
Aitor Karanka

Bruce has reinvigorated his squad since relegation from the top-flight in May, while Spaniard Karanka has had to undergo a similar assignment at Middlesbrough, having missed out on promotion last year in the play-off final.

Karanka said: "If he is not the best, he is one of the best managers in the league. When a team has an experienced manager, the team is a reflection of him and he is a Premier League manager."

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Bruce said: "It's very kind of him, he's done well himself. He came in from Spain and although it took him a little while to get his philosophy over, he plays in a certain way that makes them difficult to play against.

"With compliments like that, is he trying to get me the wrong way?! Does he want a nice Spanish red or something?!"

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