BRUCE CLUED UP ON NEW BOY SAM Clucas is off the mark for Tigers
HULL manager Steve Bruce praised debutant Sam Clucas after the summer signing marked his first game with the opening goal in the win over Huddersfield.
Hull debutants Clucas and Chuba Akpom shared the goals as the home side started their return to the Championship in fine style.
The Tigers had been relegated from the Premier League on the final day of last season but got their attempt to get back into the top flight off to the perfect start in front of 19,361 fans at the KC Stadium.
Bruce said of former Hereford and Chesterfield winger Clucas: “It’s a great story. He went to Glenn Hoddle’s academy. There are some great success stories in things like that.
“He will remember his debut. It just goes to show if you have got the attitude never give up.”
Bruce admitted the game was decided by the goals coming at the right time for his side, the second after Huddersfield had fought their way back into proceedings.
He added:“I think to be fair we got the goals just at the right times. It was going to be difficult to break them down.The second one came at just the right time. We will get better, I am convinced we will get better.”
Bruce has made several signings over the summer and expects to make more before the transfer window closes.
He continued:“We will still do a bit more in the window but it has been difficult. There are still three weeks to go which is worrying.”
He also revealed that the owner, Assem Allam, and his family had decided to miss the game because of personal attacks by fans unhappy at his attempts to change the club’s name.
Bruce said:“Towards the end of the season there were some mindless idiots throwing stones at their house. It happened more than once over the summer.”
Huddersfield manager Chris Powell admitted he expected a tough game for his side against one of the favourites for promotion.
“My players really played well at a place where not many teams will take points,” he said.
“We were playing a team who have aspirations for the top two, let alone the top six.
“It was crucial moments today (when the goals came). The response in the second half was positive.”
The Huddersfield boss opted for a defensive formation because of injuries to key players in the week before the opener.
“We had to change. We lost Sean Scannell on Friday morning. He is a bright player for us and someone we can use on the counter-attack. Joe Lolley was missing as well.”
Hull started the game well but it took time for the home side to make their dominance pay.
Clucas broke the deadlock as the first half drew to a close when he came in unmarked at the far post to meet Ahmed Elmohamady’s cross.
Clucas’ first effort was saved by Alex Smithies but the winger fired the rebound high into the roof of the net.
Akpom put the result beyond doubt with 20 minutes remaining when he worked some space for himself on the right side of the area and, like Clucas, fired into the roof of the goal.
Clucas was denied a second by Smithies in second-half stoppage time as Hull looked for a third to seal it.
Huddersfield’s best chance came in the second half but Allan McGregor got down well to keep out a shot from Jacob Butterfield as Hull comfortably claimed all three points.
ROARING START: Sam Clucas celebrates with his Tigers team mates