Belfast Telegraph

Bruce has 'words' over Burnley loss

Hull boss Steve Bruce has angrily vowed there will be no repeat of the kind of performance his side put in against Burnley - a display he rated as "scary" and the worst the Tigers have produced in his time with the club.

Bruce's men were beaten 1-0 at Turf Moor on Saturday in the Barclays Premier League as the Clarets, the division's bottom team, recorded their first win of the season.

The 53-year-old apologised afterwards to Hull fans for what they had seen, and - reflecting on a performance that had left him "embarrassed" - Bruce said: "I didn't see that coming with the group of players I've got.

"It was a horrible day. At least do the basics; show up, have a go, show a bit of character.

"Everyone makes mistakes, I can forgive that, but we were so lacklustre and lifeless it was scary. Make no mistake it won't happen again.

"There will be a few words spoken of course but that will remain in-house."

Asked if it was as poor as Hull have been during his tenure, Bruce, who was appointed as Tigers boss in the summer of 2012 and got them promoted from the Championship in his first season in charge, said: "Yes.

"I remember a day at Barnsley when we were going for promotion, but this was one of those where I couldn't pick a player. I couldn't pick one."

When it was then put to him that the squad currently at his disposal looks like the best he has had, Bruce said: "Names on paper, when you play like that, mean absolutely jack s**t. They mean nothing.

"You've got to have names that will come and produce a team performance."

Hull are now 15th, two points clear of the relegation zone, and Bruce added: "We will be at the bottom end of the table if we keep playing like that.

"I can't dress it up any other way. I can't defend them."

Burnley's winner came in the 50th minute from striker Ashley Barnes, who bounced back from not even being in the squad for the Clarets' previous game to net his first-ever Premier League goal.

The 25-year-old has described the moment as "a dream come true", and also stressed belief in the camp is strong that Burnley - currently two points adrift of safety in 20th - can survive in what is their comeback top-flight campaign.

"I have played in nearly every league possible, right from the bottom, so it's a dream come true to play in the Premier League and get off the mark, and it's the first of many hopefully," Barnes said.

"I took it hard last week but got my head down and worked hard in training to put questions in his (Burnley manager Sean Dyche's) mind."

He added: "A lot of people don't believe and maybe have written us off already, but we believe and that's all that matters.

"We are now going into the international break on a high and then we come back, work hard and go again.

"We will take it one game at a time and see where we go.

"We are the new boys in the Premier League so everyone is going to write us off but if we keep playing like that there's every chance we can stay in this league."


From Belfast Telegraph