Steve Bruce is preparing his Hull side for a tough night against a Saints side who he says ‘kicked their backsides’ earlier in the season.

Saints utterly demolished Hull 4-1 at St Mary’s in November with a blistering display of attacking football.

Bruce this evening gets a chance for revenge as Saints visit the KC Stadium but is well aware just how hard it will be.

He said: “They’ve got outstanding young players and a very talented coach. They work extremely hard for him.

“When you’ve got the work ethic they’ve got and the outstanding quality, they’re a threat for any team.

“Rodriguez, Lallana, Lambert, they’re all terrific players.

“They probably gave the best performance of any side we’ve faced this season. “It was our hardest game of the season down there. We got our backsides kicked, particularly in the first half, we were all over the place.

“We’ve got to defend better but I think we’re a different proposition now than we were three months ago.

“They were excellent on that day, the best side we’ve played this season.

“I’ve said it before but they’ve got three or four players who can go and play at the highest level, the absolute highest level.”

After victory against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light at the weekend Bruce feels tonight’s game is massive for his side.

“We’ve been rock solid at home, we’ve only lost three, picked up 19 points,” he said. Bruce is likely to be without Liam Rosenior, who strained a hamstring in the win against Sunderland but will again start with strike duo Shane Long and Nikica Jelavic who were both signed in January and both scored at the weekend.