Hull City 1 Tottenham 1: Bruce relieved to end barren run

Hull City's Shane Long (right) and Tottenham Hotspur's Danny Rose battle for the ball.Hull City's Shane Long (right) and Tottenham Hotspur's Danny Rose battle for the ball.
Hull City's Shane Long (right) and Tottenham Hotspur's Danny Rose battle for the ball.
Steve Bruce paid tribute to new striker Shane Long after picking up a point against Tottenham at the KC Stadium.

Bruce was a relieved man having seen an end to his side’s barren run, which has coincided with an upturn in form from some of the league’s bottom sides.

Returning midfielder Paulinho rescued Spurs a draw following Long’s 12th-minute opener.

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The result gave Hull a four-point buffer over the bottom three and, with £14m worth of January signings impressing in the shape of Long and Nikica Jelavic, he hopes to stay clear of the scrap.

“We had a tough January so we’re delighted we’ve got a point. It could have been three - I thought we arguably had the better chances in the game - but Tottenham are always a threat going forward, they ask all the questions,” Bruce said.

“I thought it was a terrific game of football and we’re delighted we’ve got something out of it to get us moving again because we’ve been stuck for a month, so it’s nice to get moving again at last.

“Shane gives us something we’ve been missing - pace. Once he goes through, you know he’s going to run away from everybody.

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“I thought him and Jelavic were a handful for Tottenham all day long.

“Once we got the ball forward, they cause problems and I’m looking forward to working with them over the next few months.

“Let’s hope they’re the two strikers we need to make sure we stay in this division. That’s the aim.”

Tim Sherwood dropped points on the road for the first time as Tottenham manager but insisted the 1-1 Barclays Premier League draw at Hull could yet prove a “very important” result for his Champions League chasers.

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After overseeing victories at Southampton, Manchester United and Swansea, Sherwood was unable to add Steve Bruce’s Tigers to the list.

Spurs fans may rue a missed opportunity given Hull’s struggles in 2014 - four league defeats and no goals prior to this fixture - but Sherwood was not expecting an easy ride.

Liverpool lost 3-1 at the KC Stadium in December and Manchester United went two goals down before winning on Boxing Day, leaving the Tottenham boss content with his side’s showing.

“I expected it to be tough. We’ve seen some top teams come here and struggle this season. They’re very capable,” said Sherwood.

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“But one thing was certain today: if we weren’t going to win, we certainly weren’t going to lose.

“At the end of the season this could turn out to be a very important point for both sides.

“It was a poor start to the game for us, to concede so early, but I wasn’t panicking. There was plenty of time and we grew into it.

“In the latter part of the first half and then the second half we started to dominate, we rolled the ball into (Emmanuel) Adebayor and (Roberto) Soldado in and around the box and looked like we were going to score.”

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Spurs had threatened to equalise on a number of occasions before Paulinho marked his comeback from a month of ankle problems with a powerful finish from 18 yards, capping an impressive all-round performance in the middle of the park.

Sherwood, who has had limited use of the Brazilian since taking the reins from Andre Villas-Boas, added: “We got back into it with a great goal from Paulinho.

“He’s been out for a while but he showed us he’s a fantastic player.”