Belfast Telegraph

Bruce: Hull are up for the fight

Boss Steve Bruce has emphasised that Hull are up for the survival fight that lies ahead of them despite the extent of their injury list.

The Tigers had a disappointing time of it all round on Saturday, suffering a 1-0 defeat at West Brom that saw them slide in to the Barclays Premier League relegation zone and losing frontmen Nikica Jelavic and Abel Hernandez during the contest to knee and groin problems respectively.

Following Crystal Palace's victory over Tottenham later in the day, Hull are in 18th position in the table and Jelavic and Hernandez have joined a casualty list that was already lengthy.

Bruce admits new signings must be sought and he is interested in Toronto striker Jermain Defoe as well as Arsenal forward Yaya Sanogo.

But for their problems, the manager also insists Hull are very much ready to embrace the challenge in front of them.

Bruce, whose side's next fixture is West Ham away on Sunday, said: "It has been a bit of a toil for us but even with the all problems we've got we were very comfortable (against West Brom until Albion's 78th-minute winner).

"It's been the story of the season so far and certainly we need that to turn around for us and a bit of luck in that situation - to have eight or nine out is huge for a club like ours.

"But bring on next week, and we'll keep on fighting.

"It's so close and so tight (in the relegation battle) that it's scary - there's eight teams in it and I said all along there would be.

"I didn't envisage it being this tight but it's all to play for."

Regarding potential incoming personnel, Bruce added: "I, probably like (West Brom boss) Tony Pulis and (Leicester manager) Nigel Pearson and all the people, would like a Jermain Defoe.

"The numbers might cause a problem but then again I suppose that would be the same for most of the teams in the bottom half because he's very expensive. It might be just beyond us.

"The one thing you don't want to do is gamble. We've seen all sorts of clubs get into a financial mess by pushing the boat out.

"But if there's someone who can make a difference I'll be knocking the door down like I always have done. We've got to get an individual in who can make a difference.

"It's always difficult talking about someone else's player.

"They (Toronto) paid a lot of money for him and by all accounts they don't really want to let him go. We'll have to see what develops."

Meanwhile, Bruce has revealed one unnamed individual he had contacted about the possibility of becoming his assistant at Hull will not be taking up the post - and that the man concerned was not his former Manchester United team-mate Nicky Butt.

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