Hull City 0 Newcastle 3: Bruce is hoping to beat deadline as Tigers battle to avoid the drop

Newcastle United's Michael Williamson and Daryl Janmatt stop Hull City's Michael Dawson and Nikica Jelavic during the Barclays Premier League match at the KC Stadium, Hull.
Newcastle United's Michael Williamson and Daryl Janmatt stop Hull City's Michael Dawson and Nikica Jelavic during the Barclays Premier League match at the KC Stadium, Hull.
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MANAGER Steve Bruce described it as a comedy or errors but no-one in the Tigers camp was laughing.

The only light relief for Hull followers after Saturday’s lunchtime capitulation was the failure of all the other clubs around the drop zone to pick up any points.

At least emerging full-back Andy Robertson had the courage to shoulder part of the blame and show the character which will be required to get Hull out of the bottom three.

Reflecting on the defeat which gave John Carver his first win in charge of Newcastle, the 20-year-old Scotland international said:

“I think we were the better team before they scored. It’s just a problem with putting it in the back of the net just now that we have. I think if we had got a goal we were in for three points but their first one was down to my stupid mistake but I have got to deal with that.

“Then the second one was another daft mistake and the third took a ricochet – all the goals could have been avoided and we have to look at that.

“We are not looking for excuses. I went in at half-time and apologised to everyone. I had made the mistake and that was why we were a goal down and then Gaston (Ramirez) came in at the end and apologised but we have just got to try to stay together and we have to try and pick up a result. When we do that, the spirit will be a lot higher.”

A daunting trip to the Etihad follows but Robertson says collecting points at the KC will be key.

“We have Man City away next and it doesn’t get much harder than that but it is our home form that has not been good enough and we have to pick that up in the run-in if we want to stay in this league.

“We have all got to still believe that the squad is strong enough. All the boys are down after that but we have all got to stick together and if we do then I believe we have enough to stay up. Once we get the (injured) boys back then, hopefully, we can climb the table.

“The league is too tight to set a target and once you are in the relegation zone you can’t set any target. You have just to take it game by game and if we want to stay in this league we have to start winning games.”

Robertson was one of four changes made by Bruce after a four-week ankle injury lay-off – Abel Hernandez, Gaston Ramirez and Nikica Jelavic also brought back following injuries – and the manager confessed he may have brought a couple back too soon, though “it was a risk worth taking.”

He welcomes Mick Phelan from Old Trafford onto his coaching staff today and is hoping to beat the 11pm transfer dealine with the addition of Spurs winger Aaron Lennon on loan until the end of the season with a view to a £7m move if Hull beat the drop.

A £3m fee has also been agreed with Lokomotiv Moscow for Senegal striker Dame N’Doye but personal deals with both players have to be ironed out and Bruce says: “I have to admit performances like that don’t do us any favours.”

The manager added: “The two players will be a goal threat. I think it’s blatantly obvious (where the problems lie) when you look at ourselves – apart from the last two games, defensively we’re usually okay.

“Something up the top end of the pitch might just open up the door for us. I think that’s 11 times out of the last 16 we’ve not scored. We’ve made enough chances but we haven’t scored. Newcastle had four shots and they scored three goals, therein lies the difference.”

Hull could have gone ahead on Saturday, Michael Dawson flashing a header wide before fellow central defender Curtis Davies had a header blocked on the line by a combination of goalkeeper Tim Krul and Fabricio Coloccini before Newcastle struck in the 41st minute.

Robertson attempted to play the ball inside to Dawson from near the edge of his area, Cabella intercepted and with his third touch drove a swerving left-footer inside Allan McGregor’s right-hand post.

Hull fans thought they had equalised in stoppage time but Ahmed Elmohamady was rightly booked for punching the free-kick from Ramirez into the net.

It got worse for the Tigers when the defence backed off and Ameobi let fly a 30-yarder inside McGregor’s left-hand post.

Coloccini almost sliced a clearance into his own net and Jelavic could only knock the ball back across the six-yard area after Krul had diverted Ramirez’s cross.

Newcastle had the game sewn up in the 78th minute when Gouffran cut inside and saw his shot from just outside the area deflected in off the left boot of Elmohamady.

Bruce admitted: “We have to hold our hands up and say it turned into one of those awful afternoons. Being a Premier League player is unforgiving and I’ve said it many times that the resilience of a player is the key.

“For two-and-a-half years we’ve shown the right mentality and this is the first time we’ve found ourselves in a bit trouble. We’re going into February in the bottom three and we’re going to have to roll our sleeves up.”