Hull City boss Steve Bruce has admitted injuries are restricting his options in the Premier League this season as he focuses his side for a relegation fight.
The Tigers appear to be among several teams locked in a battle to avoid the drop down to the Championship as they sit 18th in the table, level on points with QPR directly below them and just two ahead of bottom-placed Leicester.
Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at West Brom was Hull’s sixth in their last 10 games and Bruce knows they will need to improve if they are to eventually stay up.
Injuries appear to be playing their part in the Tigers’ poor form too with strikers Nikica Jelavic and Abel Hernandez the latest to be ruled out with knee and groin problems respectively.
Bruce is hoping for a change of luck on that front soon but he is sure his squad will fight hard to maintain their top-flight status.
He said: “It’s been the story of the season so far and certainly we need that to turn around for us and a bit of luck in that situation – to have eight or nine out is huge for a club like ours.
“But bring on next week, and we’ll keep on fighting.”
Bruce says he always expected it to be tight at the bottom but admits the current situation – with just five points separating nine clubs – has surprised even him.
He added: “It’s so close and so tight that it’s scary – there’s eight teams in it and I said all along there would be.
“I didn’t envisage it being this tight but it’s all to play for.”
Hull go to West Ham on Sunday in the league looking for vital points, with an away win on offer at 5.16, the draw is 3.43 and a Hammers victory is available at 1.71.