Sport Soccer

Sunday 21 January 2018

Dancing Bruce keeps feet on ground

Newcastle United 2 Hull City 3

Luke Edwards

STEVE BRUCE'S mind was willing, but knew the body would refuse to co-operate. Having suffered the worst result of his career at St James' Park as Sunderland manager, he wanted to do something special to celebrate the best victory of his Hull City reign.

He settled for a dubious victory jig on the touchline, but had wanted to copy the provocative knee slide celebration of a certain Paolo Di Canio after goals from Robbie Brady, Ahmed Elmohamady and, most spectacularly, Sone Aluko had given the Tigers a precious away win.

"I couldn't slide far enough on my knees," Bruce said. "Otherwise my hip would have gone, but I was tempted, yes I was tempted.

"Listen, that 5-1 defeat here when I was Sunderland manager goes down as the worst experience of my football life. It will haunt me forever because they're the ones you remember, getting beat in Barcelona (4-0 with Manchester United) and getting hit for five by Newcastle as Sunderland manager."

For all of the hostility directed at him – even his players were shocked by its fury – Bruce is a Geordie. He would, despite the abuse he gets when returning to the ground where he grew up watching football, love to manage the club.

"He got a lot of stick when he came off the bus," said Hull's match winner Aluko. "It was quite funny, I was coming off behind him, but I didn't want to laugh too much. I'd forgotten he was once Sunderland manager."

(© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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