Bruce demands response from deflated Tigers after loss

Hull City manager Steve Bruce.

Hull City manager Steve Bruce.

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AN AIR of deflation has been evident at Hull City’s training ground this week and Steve Bruce insists that is only right.

Tuesday night’s 4-0 thumping at Derby County – the club’s heaviest in Bruce’s near four years at the helm – dealt a huge blow to the Tigers’ hopes of automatic promotion.

Seven points now separate City from Middlesbrough in second place, a gap that prompted Michael Dawson to tell The Yorkshire Post earlier this week that all seven remaining games have to be won if the top two is to be a realistic target.

“There has been a sense of deflation around the place,” said Bruce before taking training yesterday morning. “And rightly so. I want them to be deflated. I don’t want them to come in and be happy as Larry.

“At this particular moment in time, I still haven’t recovered from it. I will do once I take training. But Tuesday hurt. After four years and going to places like Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United, we have not been beaten by four.

“None of my teams get beat by four. I don’t like it. And I think over the past few days they have understood that. I don’t mind getting beat by four at Barcelona but, no disrespect, I don’t accept getting beat 4-0 at Derby.

“I want a response. They have got to pick themselves up. We can try and help them, that is what we are here for.

“But it has got to come from within to eradicate what’s just happened.

“We all get beat in football but it is how you respond to it. I am sure we will.

“It won’t be easy. Huddersfield are a good team that likes to pass the ball around. They are the number one team for possession at the moment, totally different to the team we saw at the start of the season. We will have to be at our best.”

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