Everton v Hull City: Bruce eyes confidence boost at Goodison

​Hull City manager Steve Bruce has urged his players to keep believing as they aim to arrest their slide against Everton on Wednesday.

Bruce's men have not tasted victory since the beginning of October, with a run of four consecutive defeats dragging the Yorkshire club down into the lower reaches of the Premier League table.

With just 11 points from 13 games, Hull sit 17th and are only outside the relegation zone on goal difference.

And – following last Saturday's 3-0 loss at Manchester United – Bruce conceded that confidence is low in the camp.

"That's inevitable when results don't go your way. You can't bottle confidence," Bruce said.

"We all enjoy the Premier League when we're playing well but the art of being a Premier League player is stopping making the elementary mistakes. You need that determination and concentration to contribute to the team.

"Confidence is an easy word but they have to roll their sleeves up and get stuck into it. You need to battle through it because that's what Premier League players do.

"We've still got a long, long way to go. We've made four or five changes in the summer and that will improve us, I'm convinced of that.

"It's my job, you have to keep believing. I still believe we're a better team than we were last year. We have to find a formula of winning games but I'm convinced we will."

However, Hull face an imposing challenge if they are to prevent another slip-up at Goodison Park, where they have never avoided defeat, against an Everton side that will be determined to bounce back following a 2-1 reverse at Tottenham.

That result ended an eight-game unbeaten run in all competitions for Roberto Martinez's Everton, who have been affected by injuries to a number of key first-team players.

Midfielder James McCarthy is still being hampered by a hamstring problem and forward Steven Naismith has missed the last two matches with a similar issue.

Darron Gibson (knee) has not featured since withdrawing from the Republic of Ireland squad last month, while Antolin Alcaraz (shoulder) is still on the sidelines along with long-term absetees Bryan Oviedo (leg) and John Stones (ankle).

Gaston Ramirez serves the second game of a three-match ban for the visitors who, after scoring just one goal in their previous five outings, will be desperate for an infusion of attacking creativity in his absence.