Leeds United 2 Hull City 1: Bruce blasts beaten Tigers

United's players celebrate Tom Adeyemi's goal.
United's players celebrate Tom Adeyemi's goal.
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Steve Bruce ripped into his under-performing Hull players, describing their first-half showing in the 2-1 defeat at Leeds as "pathetic" and the worst 45 minutes since he took charge.

Manager Bruce was inconsolable as the Tigers went down to a third successive defeat.

Refusing to blame the performance on a sickness bug that has affected four or five players, Bruce complained: "We've had an awful week. That first 45 minutes was as bad as I have seen from us since I came here.

"We lost to Derby and Manchester City and we didn't show the right attitude here. I don't give a monkey's what names are on the shirts but the next time we play I will have a team that shows the right attitude.

"In the second half we were excellent but in the first we were pathetic and got what we deserved.

"You can't turn out on a blustery day like this and do the basics as badly as we did. You have to win your headers and tackles and earn the right to play. We did that in the second half when we were relentless but the first half was unacceptable.

"If we are going to challenge (for promotion) we have to make sure we do better than that."

Hull substitute Chuba Akpom must still be cursing himself for heading wide of an open goal just before the end, but Leeds showed a vast improvement in defence and attack. Even the 17th-minute walkout against owner Massimo Cellino's running of the club fizzled out as most fans stayed in their seats.

First-half goals by Chris Wood and Tom Adeyemi put Leeds on the front foot but they had some anxious moments after Ahmed Elmohamady netted for Hull six minutes after the break, with goalkeeper Marco Silvestri making several heroic saves.

Both sides had claims to a penalty, Leeds midfielder Lewis Cook stumbling to Moses Odubajo's 55th-minute challenge and Hull's Sam Clucas hitting the deck 12 minutes from time.

Leeds head coach Steve Evans, who denied that Cellino had told him what formation to play during the half-time interval at QPR in the previous game, was delighted with the win.

He said: "It is always fine margins but the level of intensity in our performance was excellent and we turned round deservedly 2-0 up.

"We were strong all over the park and the supporters were fantastic.

"I thought their goal was a foul - he was all over our full-back. We had to work very hard but how we didn't get a penalty for the foul on Lewis Cook I will never know. It should also have been a sending-off."