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Steve Bruce will not start Hatem Ben Arfa against Manchester City this weekend, according to reports.
The Hull Daily Mail has published quotes from Bruce in the build-up to the game, in which he revealed his thoughts on the on-loan Frenchman and his team news as things stand.
“He might have a part to play on Saturday but there’s a lot to do with his levels of fitness and he’s still got a lot to do before we let him loose on the Premier League,” the Hull boss said.
“We have to box clever with him.”
Ben Arfa impressed in the Capital One Cup defeat to West Bromwich Albion, but he will have to wait a bit longer before he can really impact the Tigers’ league campaign.
David Meyler and Gaston Ramirez could be missing for the City match through injury, although they have not been ruled out completely.
In other news, Bruce is concerned with his side’s defensive lapses after seeing them ship far too many goals lately.
Hull let a lead slip against the Baggies, conceding two goals in the final three minutes at The Hawthorns, and it is not the first time this season a late goal has robbed them of a win.
In quotes published by BT Sport, Bruce said, “It’s a concern, of course it is, and it’s hugely disappointing.
“So we’ll have to get back to basics if that’s what it is, the basics.
“We’ll certainly have to defend properly on Saturday against a really outstanding team.”