Bruce rues lack of killer touch

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Published: Sunday 18th January 2015 by The News Editor

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Hull manager Steve Bruce admits his side paid the price for not taking their chances after the Tigers were beaten 3-0 at West Ham in the Barclays Premier League.

Hull dominated the first half at Upton Park but failed to score, Sone Aluko the main culprit, and Andy Carroll, Morgan Amalfitano and Stewart Downing all found the net for the Hammers in the second period.

Defeat means Hull are 18th in the table and now have won just twice in 15 league matches.

“The way we played in the first half delighted all of us connected with Hull but in my experience you have to score,” Bruce said.

“For all the good work we did, it unravelled really. You can’t let them off the hook like that.

“You come away from home, play against a good team like West Ham and have two or three good opportunities to score and we didn’t.

“That’s the disappointment and frustration for us all.”

Hull were without their three top scorers this season as Nikica Jelavic, Mohamed Diame and Abel Hernandez were all injured.

There was more bad news for the Tigers too as Alex Bruce went off with a thigh strain and James Chester was taken to hospital with a dislocated shoulder.

“We invested heavily in strikers and unfortunately they’re not there to take the chances that we created today,” Bruce said.

“Of course they’re all bitterly disappointed and you look round and see so many players injured.

“We had to make two changes at half-time and we’re already a bit makeshift.

“We struggled in the second half and it looked like it had all caught up with us.”

Bruce added: “I don’t want to make excuses. In the first half it didn’t really matter. In the second half we gifted horrible goals which isn’t like us.

“The one thing we’ve prided ourselves on in the last couple of years is if you’re going to score against us, you’ll have to earn it.

“In the second half we simply weren’t good enough and we have to accept that.”

Bruce confirmed he is on the lookout for a new assistant but denied the Tigers had made a bid for Blackburn striker Rudy Gestede.

“I have never made a bid,” Bruce said.

“We had a conversation with them – apparently an agent made a bid on our behalf which is news to me and the owner.

“I don’t know where all the nonsense has come from, I can confirm there’s no way we have bid £4.5million and we won’t be doing so.”

On his search for a new coach, Bruce added: “I wouldn’t say I’m close but I’ve got two or three people to see this week.

“My plan was always to get to these couple of weeks where I can concentrate on getting someone in to give me a hand.

“We should know more about that by the end of next week.”

The victory means West Ham climb above Liverpool into seventh in the table, four points off fourth place.

The Hammers were booed off by their own fans at half-time and manager Sam Allardyce admits he told his team to be more direct in the second period.

“All this tippy-tappy stuff – everybody keeps on going about the right way to play football – is all a load of b******s sometimes,” Allardyce said.

“Getting the ball into the opposition box as quickly as you can with quality is definitely sometimes the best way forward and that’s what we did in the second half and that’s why we won the game.”

Allardyce had no complaints with the crowd venting their frustration but believes Tuesday’s penalty shoot-out win over Everton in the FA Cup may have had an effect on his players.

“We weren’t good (in the first half),” Allardyce said.

“When you’ve had an exciting game like Tuesday night, it was disappointing for the fans to see how poorly we played in the first half, they didn’t expect it.

“I haven’t seen us pass so poorly this entire season as we passed in the first half.

“That can only be a legacy of the efforts they put in on Tuesday night.”

Published: Sunday 18th January 2015 by The News Editor

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