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Bruce plays Long game in chase for Shane


Shane Long. Photo: Michael Regan/Getty Images

Shane Long. Photo: Michael Regan/Getty Images

Shane Long. Photo: Michael Regan/Getty Images

STEVE BRUCE says that Hull City have not given up hope of signing Ireland striker Shane Long in the transfer window.

Long has been a target for the Tigers for some time and all parties were frustrated when a deal to sign Long collapsed at the last minute during the last transfer window.

Last week Hull went as far as issuing an official statement denying that Long was due to undergo a medical with the club and that a deal was not complete.

But Hull are still pursuing the striker, who played 90 minutes for the Baggies in Saturday's 1-0 defeat to Southampton, along with Everton man Nikica Jelavic.

"A new player always brings a little bit to the squad, a bit of impetus," said Bruce.

"Let's hope we can get both. You're never sure how it can go but we're trying our best.

"We agreed a fee (for Jelavic), we hope we can persuade him to come here.

"We've had a conversation with West Brom about Long's availability at boardroom level but that's as far as that goes at the moment. They've appointed a new manager, so I would have thought they would have to have a conversation with him, so we'll see how that develops."

Bruce, meanwhile, was disappointed by his side's second-half performance after going in goalless at the break against Chelsea on Saturday, but matches against Norwich and Crystal Palace before the end of the month are more realistic targets.

"In the first half we did okay. Second half, unfortunately, against a top team, we didn't keep the ball well enough," said Bruce.

"If you keep surrendering possession it's going to be difficult. When you take on the big boys, if you keep giving the ball back to them, they're going to punish you and that's what happened.

"But the season is never going to be defined by games against Chelsea.

"We were nowhere near posing Chelsea a threat. We're disappointed but it's not going to define our season."