LONDON, March 7 (Reuters) - Steve Bruce and Hull City have the whiff of Wembley in their nostrils - with Sunderland standing between them and only a second FA Cup semi-final appearance in their 110-year history.
The Premier League rivals meet in the last eight at the KC Stadium on Sunday (1400) with Bruce also hoping to break new ground in his managerial career.
“When you get to the last eight of any competition, you start to smell the hotdogs and there’s nothing bigger than when cup finals are at stake,” Bruce told the club’s website (www.hullcitytigers.com).
”As a player, I led a team out and lifted a trophy at Wembley and those are the things that stay with you forever.
“As a manager I’ve never been past the quarter-finals of this competition, so a Wembley semi-final would be a first for me.”
Eighty-four years have passed since Hull reached the last four of the FA Cup for the only time.
They have also only ever played at Wembley once - in the 2008 Championship playoff final when Dean Windass volleyed Hull into the Premier League for the first time.
“If we beat Sunderland, we’ll be going to Wembley so my players have to grasp the occasion,” Bruce said of the game against the Premier League strugglers who lost the League Cup final to Manchester City at Wembley on Sunday.
”We’ve got an opportunity to make it to Wembley for an FA Cup semi-final, a stage of the competition the club hasn’t been in since 1930.
“When you look at it from that perspective, of course Sunday is a big game for us.”
Hull will be without Ireland striker Shane Long who is Cup-tied having played for West Bromwich Albion in an earlier round.
Midfielder Robbie Brady will miss the remainder of the season after he underwent groin surgery this week. (Writing by Justin Palmer, editing by Ed Osmond)