Steve Bruce a happy man as Hull start to rise again
Steve Bruce believes the "doom and gloom" around Hull is beginning to lift after making it through to their first-ever League Cup quarter-final.
The past six months have been topsy-turvy at the KC Stadium after their latest two-year dalliance with top-flight football came to an end.
However, City look well placed to make an immediate return to the Premier League and extended their unbeaten run to a ninth match in all competitions against Premier League high-fliers Leicester on Tuesday.
The Capital One Cup last-16 tie went the distance by the Humber, with the hosts triumphing on penalties after back-up goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic denied Riyad Mahrez from the spot.
It takes Hull into the uncharted territory and leaves the fans dreaming of a return to Wembley following last year's FA Cup final appearance.
"Look, if you can get a home draw then that's all you can be thankful for," City boss Bruce said.
"If you're going to go onto a cup final or cup semi-final, then you have to play who you have to play.
"But we know at home that we can give anyone a game, especially when I've seen a performance like that and for the last month or so now.
"Things are looking better than they were a few weeks ago in the summer, which is good to see."
Dealing with relegation was an understandably difficult period for Hull, but the response has been impressive and the club currently sit second in the Championship.
"I think that was important that we needed to go on a run, needed to give everything a lift," Bruce said of their unbeaten record.
"There was doom and gloom for too many months, too many weeks. Thankfully, we're starting to lift that cloud a little bit.
"It is going to still be difficult and we can't get carried away with it, but we've done okay over the last few weeks so onwards and upwards."
Hull will look to take their unbeaten run into double figures when they return to Championship action at MK Dons on Saturday, when Leicester resume their impressive Premier League campaign at West Brom.
Claudio Ranieri's side are unlikely to struggle with fatigue at the Hawthorns given the City boss made 10 changes at the KC Stadium.
Amongst those alterations saw Ben Chilwell make his professional debut, last season's academy player of the year impressing at left-back.
"In general, I am pleased with how I performed, but obviously the result is the main thing and it didn't go our way," he told Foxes Player.
"If we were to win it, it would have been a much better debut, but to make my professional debut is obviously a massive thing for me and my family.
"I thought I did well but the result was the main thing and that didn't go our way, so I am a bit disappointed."