BRUCE’S BOYS BACK ON TRACK

HULL CITY ......1 MID­DLES­BRO’..0

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Rory Squires

HULL man­ager Steve Bruce pointed to the re­silience of his side af­ter Rob­bie Brady’s free-kick en­sured they re­turned to win­ning ways fol­low­ing the loss to pro­mo­tion ri­vals Watford on Tues­day.

Brady em­bar­rassed Ja­son Steele with a left-footed strike that the Mid­dles­brough goal­keeper should have saved 17 min­utes into the sec­ond half of a scrappy en­counter.

“Af­ter the dis­ap­point­ment of Tues­day it took us un­til half time to get go­ing, but we showed some re­silience and de­ter­mi­na­tion,” Bruce said.

“It wasn’t pretty at all, but if you look at all the top teams, over the last few weeks, they have all wob­bled.

“At the moment we are win one, lose one, but whether it will be enough we’ll have to see.

“The goal looks to me like it hit a divot, but we needed a break. It has put us in a strong po­si­tion and it’s in our hands with five to play.

“We have peo­ple car­ry­ing knocks and hopefully we can get a few back from in­jury.”

Bruce said that Gedo and Alex Bruce sus­tained in­juries, with the lat­ter likely to be side­lined for at least three weeks, but he praised the per­for­mance of veteran Ab­doulaye Faye in de­fence.

“Big Ab­doulaye’s per­for­mance at the back was fan­tas­tic,” Bruce added. “It’s a long time since I’ve seen as good a per­for­mance at cen­tre-back.

“He’s been there and done it worn the T-shirt.”

Mid­dles­brough boss Tony Mow­bray was left to be­moan fa­mil­iar fail­ings as his side slumped to a sixth con­sec­u­tive game with­out a win.

“I thought we were prob­a­bly the bet­ter team on the day and cre­ated the bet­ter chances, but again it is a case of us not scor­ing a goal, and that has been a prob­lem for us over the past few weeks,” Mow­bray said.

“It was a tight game and was not a great spec­ta­cle. Apart from the goal I gen­uinely can­not re­mem­ber our goal­keeper mak­ing a real save.

“Given their po­si­tion in the ta­ble I pre­sume Hull have usu­ally played bet­ter, but per­haps they were a bit anx­ious.

“But it’s dis­ap­point­ing be­cause we could eas­ily have won it. We had an ef­fort cleared off the line and their goal­keeper made some good saves.

“Ja­son (Steele) is dis­ap­pointed with the goal. I don’t know if it’s bounced awk­wardly, but it looked like it was straight at him. That’s foot­ball and that’s the way it’s go­ing for us at the moment.”

Mid­dles­brough started brightly with Sammy Ameobi test­ing David Stock­dale with a low drive from dis­tance.

At the other end, Hull’s Ge­orge Boyd then fired into the side-net­ting af­ter a quick­ly­taken free-kick, but Ish­mael Miller ri­fled a de­flected shot just over as the vis­i­tors con­tin­ued to look more dan­ger­ous.

Mid­dles­brough for­ward Miller then just failed to keep his header down af­ter los­ing his marker in the six-yard box.

How­ever, with the game seem­ingly drift­ing to­wards a goal­less stale­mate on a bob­bly play­ing sur­face, Brady curled home a left-footed free-kick from 25 yards, with Steele beaten by the bounce.

Hull should have made the points safe, but sub­sti­tute Jay Simp­son scuffed his shot from point-blank range af­ter ex­cel­lent work by Stephen Quinn on the right.

The hosts in­vited pres­sure from the dispir­ited vis­i­tors, though, and ended up hang­ing on for the win.

James Ch­ester’s ae­rial in­ter­ven­tion de­nied Miller, and mo­ments late Stock­dale pro­duced a fine re­flex save to keep out McDon­ald’s back-heel.

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Im­ages

MATCH WIN­NER: Rob­bie Brady scores the win­ning goal for Hull

HEADS UP: Hull’s Stephen Quinn and Justin Hoyte

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