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Bruce sets sights on 20-point mark for Hull

With 18 points garnered from 15 top-flight fixtures already this season, Bruce could potentially see his side reach the tally as early as Saturday's encounter with Stoke City.

Hull have particularly impressed at the KC Stadium this term, beating Liverpool there 3-1 last time out and losing just once at home in a 1-0 setback against Crystal Palace.

The visit of Stoke marks the first of five fixtures over 18 days in a busy festive period, and Bruce believes Hull have reached a pivotal moment in their season.

"Could this period define the season? Yes, I think so," he said.

"If you can put back to back games together now, that can stand you in good stead.

"Can we get to 20 points before Christmas? That would be ideal and we'd be halfway to getting where we want to be.

"We knew how difficult it would be to be in the Premier League and we knew we would have to be really, really good at home and, touch wood, we have been.

"It's imperative it stays that way because we're under no illusion how hard it will be."

With the January transfer window fast approaching, Bruce would like to make additions to his squad but admits his biggest aim is to tie up a deal for on-loan Tottenham midfielder Jake Livermore.

He added: "I'd love to do a deal for Jake if it's possible but he's Tottenham's player.

"I'll have a conversation and the key to it is Spurs. Jake has now played 15 times for us this season and done very well for us.

"It's in their corner because he's their player and whether they are willing to sell is a big question."