10:24 11th August 2014
Performance in Germany pushes everybody to the fore for Premier League opener....
Manager Steve Bruce admits that he has a selection headache ahead of this Saturday’s Barclays Premier League opener at Queens Park Rangers following his side’s 2-1 victory over VFB Stuttgart at the Mercedes Benz Arena.
Goals from David Meyler and debutant Andrew Robertson were enough to seal a morale-boosting win against the Bundesliga outfit on Sunday, with Vedad Ibisevic replying for the hosts.
“I said to all of the players to go out there and give me a problem – and what a problem I’ve got now,” said Bruce.
“I think about players like Boyd, Quinn, Meyler, Rosenior. All these people who have got us where we are today still keep performing. They’re at a level where they never give up.
“They won’t go away. They show a great hunger and appetite for the challenge which I’m delighted about.”
The Tigers, who ended their pre-season campaign unbeaten thanks to their exploits in Germany, capped off a positive week after ensuring their safe passage to the Europa League Play-off Round last Thursday.
Buoyed by his team’s display on the big stage, Bruce said: “We were terrific, absolutely terrific. We could have won by six.
“Against a Bundesliga team, that’s no mean feat. It might only be a friendly but you don’t see too many teams come here and perform like we did. I thought we were very good and long may it continue.”
With the commitments of Europa League qualification coupled with a cluster of friendlies to contend with, the Tigers boss insists performances have improved game by game.
“It’s been an awkward pre-season but we’ve gradually got better, which we needed to,” added Bruce.
“That’s always the way in pre-season but we’ve saved our best performance in months for last, especially when you consider who we were playing against.
“You know I don’t like friendlies too much but that first 20 to 25 minutes, some of the stuff we played was just fantastic. I think it shocked them. We were quick, decisive and we hit them on the break.
“It was a really good performance. I wish it was the performance we’d delivered in Europe but it bodes well. The whole squad is fit and that will help the cause. We’ll be ready for QPR.
“It felt like a proper game so I couldn’t have asked for much more. We came to the stadium and saw the numbers of supporters and it was a proper game.
"They’re always difficult the Germans and not many come here and win. It’s only preparation but let’s hope it stands us in good stead.”