Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Bruce admits having to overspend

Tom Ince is among the new recruits at Hull

Hull manager Steve Bruce has conceded he has been forced to overpay to secure his first-choice British targets.

Bruce enjoyed great success in the domestic market last summer with Curtis Davies (£2.25million) and Tom Huddlestone (£5.25million) proving particularly good value.

But having established themselves for a second year in the Barclays Premier League, as well earning a Europa League qualifying spot courtesy of their run to the FA Cup final, Hull are finding it harder to strike a deal this time round.

Instead, they have been forced to shell out top dollar for the likes of Jake Livermore and Robert Snodgrass, who cost a combined £15million, with more to come when the Tom Ince tribunal makes its verdict.

Bruce is aware their continental counterparts would be priced more competitively but does not yet have the scouting network to gamble.

"There's the problem in our game. You identify a young English lad but you can get a player from overseas for half the price," Bruce told the Hull Daily Mail during the Tigers' warm-weather training camp in Portugal.

"If I can buy in our market I always will. You pay a premium for a young British player and that's what we've done.

"We've got a 22-year-old, a 24-year-old and a 26-year-old. It's cost us more money but I would expect that.

"You know what you're going to get. There'll come a time when I know what I'm going to get from the foreign market and hopefully we can get that set-up in the next 12 months."

Bruce is looking to add another British signing before the season gets under way, but admits his long-term pursuit of Tottenham captain Michael Dawson is foundering.

Bruce is reported as saying talks with Spurs have hit a "stalemate".

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