Sport Soccer

Wednesday 25 April 2018

Steve Bruce targets Premier League stability for Hull

Steve Bruce wants Hull to model themselves on Swansea, West Brom and Bournemouth
Steve Bruce wants Hull to model themselves on Swansea, West Brom and Bournemouth

Steve Bruce wants Hull to model themselves on Swansea, West Brom and Bournemouth after sealing their instant return to the Premier League, even though his future at the club remains uncertain.

Sunday's 1-0 Championship play-off final victory over Sheffield Wednesday secured a first-time return to the top flight for the Tigers and the fourth promotion of Bruce's career.

After months of speculation surrounding his position he has spoken of the need to decide his next move.

Amid that uncertainty, however, he is far more clear over the direction Hull should be taking.

Swansea, West Brom and Bournemouth have achieved relative stability in the top division and that is what Bruce wants Hull to pursue.

"Teams like Bournemouth, Swansea, West Brom, we have to emulate the teams who have been in and around (the Premier League) for a few years," said the Hull manager.

"And if we can do that, and make it grow... It's always going to be difficult for us because of where we are (geographically). We try to attract the (best players) but we are never going to be the biggest payers, and it's difficult to try and get people to come to us, even if we have the money. So there is a long road ahead."

Of his own future, he added: "I don't know if I am staying myself yet. I'll have a conversation like I said I would at the end of the season, like I've done for the last two years. I've got to make sure that we're equipped. I still haven't 100 per cent decided. I'll have a chat with my family and we'll see."

It was Mohamed Diame's classy, curling second-half finish that secured Hull's deserved victory. Bruce recruited him from West Ham in 2014, and the midfielder said: "I think (Bruce) is happy here. I don't really listen about this. But I think he will stay."

Diame, who said Bruce had played a "massive" part in him agreeing to join Hull, added: "He gave me confidence. I had bad moments in the league but he always put me on the pitch. He's been a lot of things for me now. He's a big manager and I respect him a lot."

There is also uncertainty surrounding the future of Tom Huddlestone, whose contract expires this summer. He spoke of his desire to extend his three-year stay at the club, but does not expect to learn his next move until after returning from holiday.

"I'm off to Santorini for nine days," said the 29-year-old.

"Hopefully when I come back there will be something on the table. It's been disappointing at times that nothing has been offered, especially when you see some of the other lads signing extensions.

"I spoke to the manager just after Christmas and he said that if we don't go up it might be a struggle to keep hold of me but that if we went up there was likely to be a contract available.

"Hopefully they keep hold of me. But you never know which direction they want to go in."

Wednesday were largely outclassed during Saturday's fixture at Wembley, but Ross Wallace is confident they will recover and improve.

"We've got an owner (Dejphon Chansiri) who is going to come together with the manager (Carlos Carvalhal) and buy three of four players in the summer to make us stronger for next season," he said.

"I think this club will get more respect and that is a positive thing for Sheffield Wednesday."

Press Association

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