Bruce hopes for Aluko progress
Hull manager Steve Bruce is crossing his fingers that talks with Sone Aluko over a new contract come to a positive conclusion soon.
Aluko hit the headlines last weekend when his stunning volley helped the Tigers seal a 3-2 win at Newcastle.
That effort would have come as no surprise to those who saw the Nigeria international take the Championship by storm last term before a serious Achilles injury wrecked his season, and Bruce is a long-time fan of the player.
He has spoken on several occasions of Aluko's ability to turn heads at the very highest level for Hull and, with the forward's current deal due to expire at the end of the campaign, opened talks over an extension several weeks ago.
All signs are positive that the two parties are in agreement, but many more performances like the one at St James' Park and Bruce may find himself casting nervous glances over his shoulder.
"We always want to keep our best players and make no mistake about it, if Sone stays injury-free he could light up the Premier League," said Bruce.
"We'd like to tie something up with him but as we all know the Bosman ruling is a horrible thing against a football club, so we'll try and do our best and see if we can get him tied up.
"I know he's enjoying playing at this level and enjoying playing at this club so we'll try and get a deal done sooner rather than later as far as I'm concerned."
While Bruce currently has no major cause for concern over a player who he first came across as a precocious teenager at Birmingham, he accepted progress had so far been slow.
"It's been going on for weeks now...it's edging along," he said.
"Hopefully we're coming to a conclusion but I wouldn't be surprised in another week if I'm sitting here and it hasn't been done.
"I'm trying my best, put it that way."
Having registered their first away win of the season at Newcastle, Hull are looking for back-to-back successes when West Ham arrive at the KC Stadium on Saturday.
The Tigers have picked up two more points than their opponents from the first five fixtures and the match is a clear target for one of Bruce's aim of 10 wins to stay up.
But to achieve that he will have to overcome a close friend and, in his mind, an underrated coach in Sam Allardyce.
"I think I can say this because he's my mate we don't have too many of those in football, but for me Sam gets undue, unfair publicity for his so-called way of playing," he said.
"Looking at what he has done in the last 10-15 years in the Premier League you know whenever you're playing one of his teams that you'll need to be at your best to beat them.
"They'll be committed, meticulously well organised and difficult to play against.
"Then you look at the squad of players they have assembled very quickly and see they have a good squad.
"He's a had a fair few injuries to put up with but he's assembled a very good group. Against West Ham and especially against 'Big Sam' it is a tough game. Always."