Hull City 1 QPR 1: Not signing Austin was club’s “worst decision”, moans Bruce

Hull City supporters shield their eyes from the low sun during the Sky Bet Championship match at the KC Stadium, Hull..

Hull City supporters shield their eyes from the low sun during the Sky Bet Championship match at the KC Stadium, Hull..

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Steve Bruce admits not signing Charlie Austin was Hull’s “worst decision” during his reign after the QPR striker again proved the scourge of the club.

The one-time Tigers target gave Rangers the lead at the KC Stadium before Michael Dawson’s header earned Hull a 1-1 draw.

Hull City's Michael Dawson celebrates after scoring his side's first goal.

Hull City's Michael Dawson celebrates after scoring his side's first goal.

Bruce tried to sign Austin from Burnley in 2013 only for the forward to fail a medical when scans revealed a knee problem.

QPR took the chance where Hull, perhaps scarred by their costly dalliance with midfielder Jimmy Bullard’s damaged ligaments, were afraid to do so.

The Hoops have been rewarded now with 44 goals in 81 games in all competitions and a rueful Bruce said: “It’s been probably the worst decision that this club has made, certainly in the last three years.

“He’s a terrific centre-forward and he would have been great in our team, but it wasn’t to be.

Hull City.

Hull City.

“He’s obviously got a problem but he plays every week, trains every week and scores every week, so if we all got dodgy knees... it’s obviously a nice problem to have!”

Rangers boss Chris Ramsey was delighted with the 26-year-old frontman, who again looked close to a transfer in this summer’s window but eventually stayed with the Loftus Road club.

“I thought today he looked like a Premier League striker,” said Ramsey.

“It was a good finish. I think he’s really enjoying his football at the moment and he’s bought into what we’re trying to do.”

Austin’s goal was awarded by the referee’s assistant as Andy Robertson attempted to clear the ball off the line.

Bruce would like to see goal-line technology used in the Championship as it is in the Premier League, and suggested the club’s own footage raised questions over whether the ball crossed the line - though he accepted his side were fortunate with Tjaronn Chery’s extraordinary close-range miss.

“I think it’s about right,” he said of the result. “I think they had the outstanding chance of the second half.

“I have to say, after watching the goal, it’s not conclusive with the video technology we’ve got so maybe the linesman was a bit too hasty in putting his flag up.

“We have (technology) in the Premier League, I don’t know what it costs but there’s big prizes in this league too, to try and get out of it. If there is technology, of course we should use it.”

The result leaves Hull third in the table, one of three teams on 14 points, while Rangers are ninth despite only two points separating the sides.

Like Bruce, Ramsey was ultimately content with a point to add to a midweek draw with Blackburn.

He said: “We played well today but we know we’ve got more up our sleeve.

“In your heart you would take a point at Hull, it’s a big club, good players, good manager.

“We would have wanted at least four points out of the last two games but a point here is a good point.”

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