Steve Bruce feels his side can travel to Manchester City with confidence having got their first league victory of the season under their belt last weekend.
The Tigers head to the Etihad Stadium for the Saturday lunchtime clash looking to build on last weekend’s victory over Norwich with Bruce looking forward to taking on one of the division’s big guns.
“The Premier League is the best league in the world and within that, you’re going to play against some of the best teams in Europe. In my opinion, Manchester City are up there with those,” said Bruce.
“Our win last weekend gives everybody that bit of confidence that we can play at this level and compete. We’re not saying that we can win the league, but looking at last week I think there’s only been one team at this level that has played for more than 60 minutes with ten men and still got a win.
“It’s given everybody a bit of encouragement. As I’ve said though, we know we’re not going to be judged on our performances against the likes of Manchester City, we have to be good against the teams we think realistically we can compete against.
“It’s a bonus if you get anything from games like the one we’ve got on Saturday, especially when you look at the players they’ve got. But as we saw last week, football, especially in the Premier League, can throw up surprise results.
“Unfortunately for us, Manchester City were at the wrong end of one of those last weekend so they’ll want to put things right.
“We need to be ready for that because we’re certainly in the firing line.”
Although wary of a potential backlash after the Blues’ defeat at Cardiff last weekend, Bruce admits that his players can also take some encouragement from Manuel Pellegrini’s first defeat of the season.
“Of course we can take a little bit of encouragement from that result,” added Bruce.
“A game of football is a game of football and if you get a little bit of lady luck your way, the bounce of the ball, they don’t play well and we play to our maximum then we’ve got a chance.
“But we understand that this is a very difficult game for us. But we prepare just like we prepare for anybody else in the Premier League and let’s enjoy the challenge of it.”