Hull City manager Steve Bruce has conceded to the Hull Daily Mail that he hasn’t got the best out of certain members of his squad this season. The experienced boss also admitted that this has been his ‘hardest year’ in management.

The Tigers have all but confirmed their spot in the end-of-season play-offs, with the hope of winning the ‘richest game in football’; the Championship Play-Off Final at Wembley.

Victory at Reading tonight (Tuesday) would confirm a top-six finish once and for all but Bruce has pointed the finger at himself as to why they won’t finish much higher in the league table come the end of the season.

Bruce has highlighted a lack of continuity of the past six or seven weeks, suggesting that he had a settled team prior to this period before being forced to make alterations to try and improve their dip in form. Over the last seven matches, 19 different players have started.

Although it is a disappointment to miss out on a top two finish, Bruce still suggests that his side have a ‘fantastic chance’ of gaining promotion, but still suggested this has been a hard season,

“It’s been, without question, the hardest year I’ve had in management, going back a long, long time.

“I knew from my days with Birmingham how difficult it was going to be to pick the club up after a relegation, to lift the doom and gloom, the disappointment that everyone feels.

“That lingers on for a long time. Thankfully we got off to a good start but it’s been difficult to keep everyone at it.

“Ultimately over the last six or seven weeks we haven’t been able to perform to the levels we’re capable of. That’s the disappointing thing and that starts with me. At the end of the day, I don’t feel as though I’ve got the best out of some of our players.

“We’re fourth top but we’ve never been a shoo-in (to go up). We’re still doing okay when you look at the other big teams in this division. We’ve got no given right. I would just stress we’ve still got a fantastic chance. We’ve got to secure our place (in the play-offs) but we’re a threat to anyone in this top six.”

Hull will be hoping that the recent last-gasp victory against Wolverhampton Wanderers will give them the chance to kick on and build up some momentum ahead of their play-off campaign.

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I currently work as a Championship Research Analyst for Onside Analysis Ltd. In this role I provide match previews and reviews for every Championship game. I also delve into matches from all across the globe, gaining an insight into football from different leagues in different countries. I came into this role shortly after graduating from The University of Hull after studying BSc Sports Coaching & Performance. I am a Lincoln City fan and thankfully they're back in The72!!