MONDAY POLL: Bruce’s dealings will not be affected by Hull’s loss

MANAGER Steve Bruce is anticipating a busy final day of the transfer window for Hull City.

Hull City manager Steve Bruce with Aston Villa's manager Paul Lambert at Villa Park yesterday where the home side won 2-1 (Picture: Martin Rickett/PA Wire).

The Tigers, beaten 2-1 yesterday by Aston Villa, are looking to make three new signings before today’s 11pm deadline.

Uruguayan striker Abel Hernandez is one deal that Bruce expects to go through for a club record £10m, while the Hull chief is also keen to bring in a couple of midfielders.

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One of those is believed to be from abroad, while the other is a target from the Premier League.

The latter, however, will not be Manchester United’s Tom Cleverley, with Bruce admitting the midfielder is unlikely to move to the KC Stadium despite Hull having made an enquiry last week.

Bruce, smarting from a truly awful first-half display in the loss to Villa, said last night: “We are looking to do one or two bits of business (today).

“We expect (Hernandez from Palermo) to be completed. We think everything is okay and we are just waiting for his signature.

“You can never say never, of course, But we think that is done. The work permit was sorted on Friday.”

Asked if his plans for today’s 
final few hours of the window had been influenced by a performance in the opening 45 minutes at Villa that Bruce rated as the worst of his reign, the Tigers’ chief replied: “I won’t change our plans for the transfer window because of this loss. That would be wrong as a manager. But we are looking to do one or two bits of business.”

Asked if one of those deals could be Cleverley, the subject of an £8m bid from Villa over the weekend, Bruce replied: “I can’t see that. I don’t think it will happen.”

Bradford City will be hoping Cleverley – a former junior at Valley Parade – leaves Old Trafford in a big money deal as they are due 10 per cent of the fee.

On whether Villa’s attempts to sign the 25-year-old had moved on over the weekend, Paul Lambert said: “I have no update. He is still a Manchester United player, nothing has moved forward on that.”

As Hull look to get three deals over the line today, one player heading out of the KC is George Boyd. The midfielder, a £500,000 signing from Peterborough United midway through the 2012-13 season, is expected to join Burnley for around £3m.

Bruce added: “We allowed George to speak to Burnley. Personally, I wish him well.

“He got the offer of a three- or four-year contract and the chance to play.

“He wants to play. I have been in the game a long time and if all professional footballers were like George Boyd, the job would be easy.”

As focused as Bruce will be on the transfer market today, he also admits that the manner of Hull’s display at Villa Park will be in his thoughts.

The Tigers were truly awful in the first half, as basic errors and poor decision making combined to hand the initiative to Villa.

Gabriel Agbonlahor and Andreas Weimann netted during the first half but with Villa also hitting the woodwork twice and Allan McGregor having to make several excellent saves, Hull’s disjointed efforts could have been much more damaging.

Bruce’s response to his side’s mauling was to haul off captain Curtis Davies and ditch his preferred three-man backline in favour of a 4-4-2 set-up.

Hull pulled a goal back 16 minutes from time through Nikica Jelavic and only a stunning save by Brad Guzan denied Jake Livermore from netting what would, on the balance of play, have been an undeserved equaliser.

Bruce said: “I still can’t get over how bad we were in the first half. That was nowhere near like us. Maybe it was a hangover from last Thursday (and going out of the Europa League), I don’t know.

“But I have never seen so many people perform as badly as that and I won’t accept it. We were so lifeless, it was incredible.

“We gifted them goals. We made mistake after mistake. We didn’t get a hold of Villa. Thankfully, there was a response (after half-time) as without it we would have been looking at a cricket score. We were that poor.

“We got a goal back and made a game of it in the second half. On another day, we could have nicked something. But that doesn’t excuse the first half, we were pathetic.

“I wish we could get the players in this week but we can’t because 12 of them are away on international duty. Mind, if they keep performing like that, they won’t be internationals for long.”

On substituting Davies, the club’s Player of the Year in 2013-14, at the break, Bruce added: “Curtis was not injured. Somertimes, I have to make decisions and whether he is the captain or not, he didn’t perform to the level we expect of Curtis.

“But he is a resilient character and I know for a fact he will be better next week.”