Hull v Everton: Steve Bruce wary of the pros and cons that Hull face ahead of European debut next season

Hull have already qualified for the Europa League through their FA Cup final appearance but Bruce knows a European run could test his squad to the limits

Steve Bruce believes qualification for the Europa League can be both a blessing and a curse for clubs like Hull.

Bruce's Tigers will make their European bow regardless of what happens in their FA Cup final against Arsenal, courtesy of the Gunners' top-four placing.

Yet the result remains vitally important, with victory carrying them directly to the group stages and defeat condemning them to the early qualifying rounds.

And while it represents an astounding achievement for a side whose over-riding ambition for the season was to simply avoid relegation, it can also be something of a double-edged sword.

Newcastle, Stoke and Bolton are among those who have struggled to balance the demands of the competition alongside those of the Premier League, while Swansea's domestic form this term has been a shadow of the 2012/13 vintage.

 

Bruce has no intention of dampening fan enthusiasm for the adventure ahead but is under no illusion about how difficult it will be to manage.

"We're in Europe, which is fantastic. I'm sure the fans are looking forward to it," said Bruce, whose side host Everton on Sunday in their last Premier League match of the season.

"We have to look at it that way and then we have to realise, when we start planning, that the ramifications of it are huge.

"There's a huge complication with Europe. However, let's not derail it before we get into it...when the draw comes out in mid-July then to see our name in amongst it will be fantastic.

"That's when it will grab hold of people. We're in with the Tottenhams and Evertons from our country and some big clubs from others. You only have to look at the teams (Sevilla and Benfica) in the Europa League final which is coming. Big clubs with huge traditions and histories. To be part of it, great."

Bruce has made no secret of the fact that he feels certain players have taken their eyes off the ball in the league since securing their place at Wembley at May 17.

Indeed, Hull have gathered only one point from a possible 12 since seeing off semi-final opponents Sheffield United on April 12, and that against relegated Fulham.

The requirements of continental competition are even more demanding and, with Hull heading into the final round of fixtures just four points above the bottom three, there is no real buffer zone to absorb many Europa League hangovers.

"The reason we've tailed off recently is the FA Cup and when you're going to be playing Saturday, Thursday, Sunday, it is very difficult," Bruce said.

"You know what it's like if you go on holiday: Airports, late flights, getting back in the middle of the night...it's never easy.

"We understand how difficult it is but we can't be frightened of it.

"Some clubs have done extremely well, but if you're one of the smaller teams in Europe and you get a bigger team, they have a huge advantage."

PA

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable