Soccer gossip and post-mortems: Hull Leeds, Owls, Barnsley, Huddersfield

Hull manager Steve Bruce.
Hull manager Steve Bruce.
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STEVE BRUCE laughed off suggestions Hull City’s 2-1 victory over Wolves was particularly sweet after he was overlooked for the manager’s job at Molineux earlier this year.

The Tigers boss, then unemployed, applied for the role in February, but Terry Connor got the nod and Wolves were relegated from the Barclays Premier League.

Bruce went on to take the City job and victory tonight made it five wins from six games, signalling their promotion ambitions.

But when asked if the result carried any added meaning in light of previous events, Bruce laughed and said: “I knew somebody was going to ask me that!”

He added: “Not really, it’s football. At one time thought I was close, but it’s gone, it’s history, I’m just pleased we’ve got the result.”

Sone Aluko’s first-half free-kick, his third goal in three matches, handed the hosts the first-half lead and Jay Simpson conjured up a magical finish from a seemingly impossible angle to make it 2-0 six minutes after the interval.

A defensive lapse afforded the visitors a route back into the match when James Chester put through his own net, but the Tigers held on.

“We were so comfortable and made two mistakes really, one from the goalkeeper, and a miskick from Paul McShane. It made it a bit more nervy than it needed to be.

“Overall, with the quality of the two goals we scored, we probably deserved it.”

Meanwhile, Huddersfield Town boss Simon Grayson lambasted referee Roger East and questioned his decision to award Blackburn Rovers a penalty in last night’s 2-2 draw at the John Smith’s Stadium.

A last-gasp leveller from Lee Novak rescued a point for Town - with the Geordie having fired the hosts in fonrt on 15 minutes.

But the Lancastrians - whose starting line-up included £8m man Jordan Rhodes on his return to his former club - turned the tables to lead 2-1 with that man Rhodes restoring parity two minutes before the break.

The game most controversial incident arrived five minutes after the restart when Marcus Olsson burst through on goal before being tackled from behind by Joel Lynch, with the controversial penalty dispatched by Danny Murphy.

“It was the wrong decision,” said Grayson.

“The referee will realise that when he sees it in the morning.

“I thought he was poor all round with a lot of decisions.

“The players came close together, there’s no question about that but sometimes you’ve got to see where the ball ends up.”

Haling his side’s resilience after going 2-1 behind, he aded: “I think over the course of the game it was probably a fair result.

“We were up against a good team with some good players.

“It was inevitable Jordan was going to get on the end of a chance to score.

Sheffield Wednesday manager Dave Jones bemoaned the decision not to award his side a first-half penalty as his side’s recent mini upturn ended in a 2-0 home loss to managerless Blackpool, who ended a five-match winless streak thanks to goals in each half from Thomas Ince and Ludovic Sylvestre.

With the below-par Owls 1-0 behind, lively winger Michail Antonio was bundled over in the area by Neal Eardley, but referee Andy D’Urso waved away the protests.

It followed several calls from penalties going unheeded in the 2-1 weekend win over Peterborough, with Jones adamant his side are not getting the rub of the green on the spot-kick front.

He added: “We had a stone wall penalty again which the referee said Antonio went down too easy.

“But I think a pull is not going down too easy. I’m getting fed up now, the referee has to give that.

“He is clipped from behind and pulled by the arm and that is a clear penalty. One day someone is going to see it, but they just pat it off as ‘he went down too easy’.

“That’s poor on their part and probably one of the reasons why he has been demoted down. He is five yards away, one day someone is going to give us something.”

Barnsley slumped to their third defeat in four matches in a 2-0 loss at Derby, who netted second-half goals from James O’Connor and Nathan Tyson - with Reds chief Keith Hill left to reflect on what might have been after Stephen Dawson wasted a great chance just before Tyson scored late on.

He said: “We give the opposition to much encouragement with silly free-kicks but it’s marginal whether you win, lose or draw depending on the decisions players make.

“I set a framework out but the players have to make decisions within that. The players have given me everything they possibly could but when we create chances we’ve got to convert or at least hit the target and when we defend free-kicks we’ve got to make sure we clear them.

“The players have got to make better decisions on behalf of me and I can’t play that game for them. We are looking for them to progress by making less mistakes and to be more assertive in front of goal.”

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