Steve Bruce was pleased to see the Tigers edge past Leyton Orient on Tuesday night and into the third round draw for the Capital One Cup, although he was left with mixed feelings about his side’s performance.
Robbie Brady’s goal in the second period of extra time carried City through at the Matchroom Stadium with a 1-0 win and while there were positives, not least in the performances of young substitutes Conor Townsend and Calaum Jahraldo-Martin, Bruce admitted his much-changed team had been given a stiff examination.
“We knew it was going to be a difficult game,” said Bruce.
“I expected it to be difficult with the amount of changes I made. We’ve had two lads out there who have had serious injuries in Matty Fryatt and Joe Dudgeon, so it will have done them the world of good. Cameron Stewart has been out for a while, too.
“We also had two young lads in and they’ll remember the night.
“All in all, we’ve got through with nobody picking up an injury and we’re in the hat for the next round.
“But, we have to be honest enough to say that Leyton Orient made a fist of it and probably didn’t deserve to lose, even though I can’t really remember our goalkeeper having a big save to make.
“Overall it was a disappointing cup tie. I never criticise individuals, but I gave one or two their opportunity last night and to be fair they can’t come and knock on my door and say they deserve to be in (the team).
“I thought my goalkeeper was excellent, I thought my captain (Paul McShane) was excellent, but after that we were a tad disappointing, although I think I knew we might be a little disjointed.
“Orient are a good side. We saw that last season in the FA Cup and again last night. They’ve got some good players.”
Speaking further about the performances of Townsend and Jahraldo-Martin, who both came on as second half substitutes, Bruce was pleased with their impact and feels that loan moves would benefit both players this season.
“It’s nice for the club that we’ve got a couple of youngsters who we can bring on,” added Bruce.
“The one thing a youngster will give you is that youthful exuberance and they both gave us that.
“In fact, they lightened up the cup tie to be honest because up until they came on we were very mundane. They gave us a bit of energy, legs, enthusiasm and I though both of them were terrific.
“They probably need to go out (and play). Conor has played for Grimsby and then went to Chesterfield last season – is there a League One or Championship team that can make him go and play because he’s got a lovely left foot and he’s a decent player?”