Bruce savours ‘classy’ performance as Hull stay top

Published: Wednesday 24th February 2016 by The News Editor

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Steve Bruce believed a “bit of class” was the difference as his Hull side maintained their position at the top of the Championship with a 1-0 win at Ipswich.

Mohamed Diame’s cool 48th-minute finish gave Hull all three points – although the visitors were more dominant than the scoreline suggests.

After making nine changes from the side that drew 0-0 with Arsenal in Saturday’s FA Cup fifth round, Bruce was left delighted with his side’s form on a night when all their main rivals also won.

Bruce said: “It was a case of job done. We were up against a really committed team in the first half, which mirrored their manager (Mick McCarthy) in terms of effort and endeavour.

“But we had that bit of class in the second half and we could have actually put the game to bed but we didn’t take our opportunities.

“When you are top of the league, you know teams are going to have a go at you and you have to earn the right to play. Mo was man of the match for me, it was a wonderful goal.”

Chances were at a premium in a tight first half, with Robert Snodgrass free-kick brilliantly pushed away by Ipswich keeper Bartosz Bialkowski before Daryl Murphy struck the inside of the post as the home side went agonisingly close to taking the lead.

Their misfortune was compounded just after half-time when left-back Andrew Robertson strode inside and his precise through-ball found Diame, who calmly chipped it over the diving Bialkowski.

Hull began bossing the game and they should have sealed the points when Jake Livermore’s initial shot was saved and the midfielder could only strike the rebound against the outside of the post.

Ipswich offered little in response but still almost claimed an unlikely point when Freddie Sears had Allan McGregor scrambling to turn his scuffed shot around the post in the final minutes.

And from the subsequent corner, Tommy Smith could only turn the set-piece over the bar from close range.

After seeing his side lose their last three matches, downbeat Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy admitted Town’s chances of making the play-offs were slipping away.

McCarthy added: “We were beaten by a better team on the night. We actually could have taken the lead in the first half but that is the fine margins of the Championship.

“The talk in the dressing room at half-time was not to concede an early goal but that is what we did – although it was a fantastic goal.

“They could have scored more but the Championship is so bonkers that we almost notched in the last few minutes.

“We have now lost three on the bounce, but we have to try and remain positive.”

Copyright Press Association 2016

Published: Wednesday 24th February 2016 by The News Editor

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