Sport Soccer

Tuesday 23 January 2018

Contract may not save me - Bruce

Steve Bruce believes his players will rise to the occasion at White Hart Lane
Steve Bruce believes his players will rise to the occasion at White Hart Lane

Steve Bruce has admitted the new three-year contract he signed in March is no guarantee he will still be Hull boss at the start of next season.

Bruce penned the deal when the Tigers sat 15th in the Barclays Premier League, five points clear of the drop zone and fully expecting to extend their top-flight stay.

But as his side head to Tottenham on Saturday knowing defeat could all but consign them to relegation, Bruce acknowledged the drop could leave his future uncertain.

Bruce said: "The owners wanted me to stay - they were convinced we were going to be a Premier League team and I think that's why they rewarded me with a new contract.

"I haven't really thought of myself just yet but I've got no thoughts of quitting or walking away - nothing like that.

"It's for others to decide. I've got huge respect for the owner and I'm totally disappointed for him and the supporters but it is not over yet. I will tell you in a couple of weeks because it is out of my hands."

However, in an interview with the Daily Telegraph on Friday evening, Hull owner Assem Allam claimed he had no interest in replacing Bruce should the worst happen.

"Maybe that makes me unusual among owners, but I'm not a football man, I'm a businessman. I still think I've got the right manager, he is a very good manager and I hope he stays if we go down," he said.

Bruce admitted he would be "totally devastated" if the Tigers did fail to beat the drop having rallied recently with consecutive wins over Crystal Palace and Liverpool.

Last Saturday's home defeat to doomed Burnley left his side firmly ensconced in the bottom three with Spurs then a daunting final-day clash with Manchester United still to come.

But Bruce insisted in the event of the worst-case scenario Hull would be well equipped to mount a challenge for an immediate return to the top-flight - whether he was in charge or not.

Bruce added: " I know how difficult it would be for everyone for take.

"Thankfully, we've put things in place as club that it won't be one of those Armageddon scenarios, that the club will be able to move forward.

"We have got a team that is capable and we have proved that with some of our results. I don't give anything up very easily. Let's just bring on the moment and give it a go."

Bruce has no new injury concerns but must once again decide whether to risk Nikica Jelavic from the start as the Croatian continues to make a slow recovery from a knee injury.

Jelavic came on as a second-half substitute against Burnley but could make a rare appearance on the outset, while David Meyler is also pushing for a recall. Mohamed Diame and Gaston Ramirez are ruled out for the rest of the campaign.

Press Association

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