Bruce hoping for N’Doye hot streak
Senegal striker N’Doye wasted a hatful of chances before plundering a second-half double that cemented a vital 2-0 win at Selhurst Park on Saturday.
The 30-year-old now boasts five goals in 10 Hull appearances since his £2million January move from Lokomotiv Moscow, and boss Bruce hopes he can now fire Hull to top-flight safety.
Hull must still face Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester United, with Bruce admitting the clash with Burnley stands apart in a daunting five-game run-in.
“He usually scores in batches, so he usually gets three or four goals in as many weeks, so let’s hope that happens again now,” said Bruce.
“This will give him the confidence that every striker needs.
“He’s done terrific since he’s walked through the door in January.
“Jelavic has only played 50 per cent of the games through his knee injury.
“You’re only as good as what you put up front.
“Every team is well-drilled, well-organised, so you’ve got to take the chances when they come.”
N’Doye had precious little opportunity of failing to convert when his first goal finally came, tapping into an empty net after Julian Speroni deflected Robbie Brady’s shot.
The former FC Copenhagen forward then produced a fine angled finish at the death to kill the tie, leaving Bruce hopeful he can now harness that confidence boost for the pivotal run-in.
“For me the reason why we’re in the situation we are all comes down to taking your chances,” said Bruce.
“We must have had five, six or seven when we could have gone two or even three-nil up.
“Our inability to take them, in the Premier league, that’s the difference.
“You don’t create that many, and when you do create one, you’ve got to take it.
“Thankfully today we’ve managed to take one and that relieves the pressure.”
Palace boss Alan Pardew was left to bemoan a string of decisions where he felt referee Mark Clattenburg was in the wrong.
Pardew claimed a handball in the build-up to Hull’s first goal, that Palace were denied two clear penalties and that Yaya Sanogo’s disallowed goal should have stood.
Arsenal loanee Sanogo thought he had headed Palace level in the second-half, only for Clattenburg to rule out the goal owing to a push on Paul McShane.
Pardew claimed McShane “bought the free-kick” to deny his side the equaliser, refusing to point the finger directly at referee Clattenburg.
The former Newcastle boss did however claim Clattenburg should have played double the four minutes of added time he designated.
“Key decisions went against us today,” said Pardew.
“The first goal was handball, we had a penalty with Wilf (Zaha), I think we had a penalty when Glenn (Murray) should have scored in the first half.
“And then our goal, I think that’s a tough call.
“You know if you’re a centre-half, you’ve got a bit of jostling going on.
“And at set plays you look at any of our corners today, you’ll have seen plenty of that going on, plenty.
“And it’s not given, there’s no retake at the corner or a penalty at the corner, and yet in that situation that centre-half knows there’s a little bit of a tussle with the striker, and then he just went to ground and bought the free-kick in my opinion.
“There’s not many referees that would have given that decision today, in the light of the incident, but he did.
“Key decisions, that’s his (Clattenburg’s) job, and he’s a good referee.
“What I did have a problem with was the amount of time added on we had.
“Because anyone who was here second-half, the substitutes alone was four minutes coming off the pitch, let alone everything else.
“And I understand that and I have no problem with teams who are desperate for the points wasting time and slowing the game down, I get it.
“I’ve done it myself, I did it against Chelsea at 2-0 up and Chelsea had something like seven minutes.
“You accept that, you have to accept it as a manager.
“Steve Bruce would have probably accepted seven or eight minutes because that’s what it should have been.
“But it wasn’t, and I’m disappointed in the referee for that, and I don’t care what the scoreline is.
“We were poor today though, we weren’t at it at all, and we’ll address that; in our way.”