Aluko is proving great entertainment value for Bruce

STEVE BRUCE has hailed Hull City’s Sone Aluko as being a player he would “pay good money to watch” ahead of the striker’s return to the seaside.

The 23-year-old joined the Tigers on a free transfer from Glasgow Rangers in the summer and ended 2012 as the club’s top scorer with eight goals in 21 league appearances. Aluko’s form has been a major factor in how well second-placed City have done this season, as was evident in the 2-0 mauling of Leeds United over the weekend when Neil Warnock had no answer to his skills.

Bruce was understandably delighted by the manner of his side’s final display of the year and the City chief admits that Aluko, who spent a brief time on loan with Blackpool in 2008, has been a fine addition.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The 52-year-old, who celebrated his birthday yesterday, said: “That win over Leeds wasn’t a shock to me, as some of our football has been excellent for quite a few weeks now. Put it this way, I would pay to watch that.

“I realise it is hard times for people. Finding £20-odd quid to come and watch your team is not easy. That is why the big objective when I came in was to come and entertain them. I wanted us to play.

“Certainly, if I was paying good money out then I would be glad to do that to watch Aluko. He is a breath of fresh air. The work he does in tight areas is fantastic. Great to watch.”

As delighted as Bruce is with Aluko, however, he also realises that Hull need to improve their goal output to maintain their current lofty position.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

A failure to convert chances when on top has been a problem for City with even the Leeds game seeing a host of opportunities squandered before two goals in three second-half minutes were enough to seal the points.

Bruce’s priority this month is to hold on to loanees Robbie Brady and David Meyler with talks due to take place over the coming days with Manchester United and Sunderland, respectively.

Bruce is keen to bring in a striker with Sunderland’s Fraizer Campbell, a former loanee who helped fire City into the Premier League in 2007-08, and Danny Graham, of Swansea City, believed to be on his radar.

Hull are also still hoping to re-sign David Stockdale despite the goalkeeper having returned to Fulham’s line-up in Saturday’s loss at home to Swansea.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

As for today, Ahmed Elmohamady has recovered from the calf strain that was aggravated by Aidy White’s crude challenge on the Egyptian on Saturday and is in the squad.

Alex Bruce is available after a three-game ban but Hull, who boast the best away record in the division with seven wins, are not expected to make changes.

Last six games: Blackpool WDWLDL, Hull City DWWWWDW.

Referee: A Taylor (Cheshire).

Last time: Blackpool 1 Hull City 1; March 2, 2012; Championship.