Bruce retains belief Hull will beat the drop,

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WITH a run-in that Steve Bruce admits is “horrible”, Hull City are deep in trouble.

Just how deep the Tigers are in the mire can be assessed by a glance at the corresponding stage of last season when Norwich City were sitting seven points clear of trouble in 14th place with seven games remaining.

That is a much healthier position than Hull are in but it did nothing to save the Canaries, who were undone by an awful run-in that included meetings with the top four.

The Tigers’ own final weeks of 2014-15 are just as tough, with five of the top seven still to play along with bogey side Burnley and Crystal Palace.

If Hull are to get out of trouble, there can be no repeat of the first-half showing at Swansea as manager Bruce readily admits. “It was just so lacklustre, from both teams,” he said. “Swansea had not done enough to be 2-0 up. But the first half was nowhere near what we are capable of.”

Hull head next to Southampton where they are yet to win in six visits.

David Meyler will be missing as the Irishman starts a three-game ban after becoming Hull’s sixth red card of the Premier League season, though Tom Huddlestone will be back and Mohamed Diame came through 20 minutes at Swansea.

“They are all horrible games left as far as I am concerned,” said manager Bruce. “Playing the bottom teams is just as horrible as the top teams.”

Asked how many points would keep Hull up, Bruce replied: “Who knows? What we need to do is collect the points ourselves. We can’t rely on teams below us not winning.

“It is up to us to get the results we need and I’m still convinced we’ll do it.”