Sport Soccer

Thursday 21 November 2019

Bruce to take stock after drop

Steve Bruce has a lot to consider following Hull's relegation
Steve Bruce has a lot to consider following Hull's relegation

An "exhausted" Steve Bruce said he would consider his future over the next fortnight after taking Hull down to the Sky Bet Championship.

Hull were relegated from the Barclays Premier League on Sunday following their goalless draw against Manchester United.

The Tigers put up a spirited fight and had it not been for two fantastic saves from Victor Valdes, they would have ended the season with a creditable yet ultimately meaningless win.

Newcastle's 2-0 win at home to West Ham meant Bruce's team would have been relegated regardless of the result at the KC Stadium.

Bruce acknowledged owner Assem Allam could rip his three-year contract up at any time and the former Manchester United defender said he had to decide himself whether he had the fight to try to take Hull back up to the top tier of English football.

"The first person I will analyse is myself and at the end of the day I've not been good enough," the Hull manager said.

"I'll reflect on that and have a conversation with the powers that be

"It's an awful time and a lot of decisions have to be made.

"At this particular time I hope I will be given an opportunity.

"I have had terrific relationship with owner. I am desperately disappointed for him. I have let him down."

The fact that he signed a three-year contract in March does not mean he is safe from the axe, Bruce admitted.

He added: "A contract means nothing in football, we all know that.

"He (Allam) was trying to pick me up at the time to offer me it.

"I've had a kicking and I've always been up for a fight, I don't think it's the time to talk about myself.

"We all need a break from each other, we need to get away for the next couple of weeks. Let's analyse the situation and see where the owner wants to take the club in the next direction then we will go from there."

Hull looked to be safe after back to back wins against Liverpool and Crystal Palace last month, but a four-match winless run put paid to their survival hopes.

Bruce looked visibly dejected after the final whistle and he feels the pain will linger for quite some time.

"We're hurt to the bone," he said.

"Cuts are inevitable because we haven't got the finances we have in the big league.

"There's a lot of talking and soul-searching to be done in the next few weeks. It's all bitter and sad at the moment.

"It's one of those awful, awful moments.

"We all enjoy the high times. In the low times you take a kicking, and it's fair to say I'm taking a kicking."

Bruce lamented the loss of Robert Snodgrass - a £7million signing from Norwich - to injury, and the team's woeful form in front of goal.

Despite spending over £40million on the likes of Dame N'Doye, Abel Hernandez and Hatem Ben Arfa, Hull have scored just 33 goals in 38 matches.

"It's a pretty damning statistic," Bruce said.

Despite launching a series of early attacks on the United goal, Hull could not find a way through on Sunday.

Valdes, starting ahead of the injured David de Gea, saved well from Ahmed Elmohamady and Nikica Jelavic, and the Tigers also had two goals ruled out for offside.

Bruce felt an early goal could have swung the survival battle in Hull's favour.

"We needed to score and hope that transcended its way all the way up the east coast but it was not to be," he said.

The result meant Louis van Gaal achieved his aim of bringing Champions League football back to Old Trafford, but his first season ended on a sour note because of Marouane Fellaini's 73rd minute dismissal for a stamp on Paul McShane.

"It was unbelievably stupid because next season he starts in the stands," the United boss said.

PA Media

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