Belfast Telegraph

Heartache for Hull City as Steve Bruce's boys are relegated

Hull City 0 Man Utd 0

Hull City manager Steve Bruce offered a punishing verdict on his own performance as leader of the squad, declaring in the aftermath of relegation that he had "not been good enough."

Though the club's owners commitment to Bruce, who signed a new three-year deal in March, was confirmed two weeks ago by owner Assem Allam, the manager said he would reflect on whether there was a future in the Championship for him.

"The supporters are quite unique," the 54-year-old said. "We've failed them and let them down. In August, I thought we were strong enough to cope with being in the Premier League. I will analyse myself more than anyone else. The raw emotion is that we simply haven't been good enough.

"Having been in this city for three years I know a lot of the supporters fork out the money to get here. It's the highlight of their week to come here and see Premier League football. We've let them down. I've had a kicking at the minute and although I've always been up for a fight, I don't think it's the time now to be talking about myself.

"At the end of the day I've not been good enough. I will reflect on that and have conversations with the owners."

Bruce did not question the decisions which ruled two Hull goals offside in the space of two minutes, reflecting instead that the 0-0 draw was a measure of what "has happened too often" this season - a failure to score.

His side scored more goals than Burnley, Aston Villa and Sunderland and conceded fewer goals than those sides and Leicester City. They could not translate a materially better goal difference into points on the board and were relegated by a deficit of three points.

United manager Louis van Gaal was given more evidence of the busy summer of work ahead, but reserved criticism for Marouane Fellaini, who was dismissed for a dreadful studs-up tackle on Paul McShane and will miss the first three games of next season.

"For him it is unbelievably stupid because next season he starts on the tribune and then in preparation he starts as a sub," the Dutchman said.

"It's not so good for him personally. I don't know if it is a red card. I see that it takes seven minutes (to treat him and) the player is not capable to stand up, (so) it shall be the worst tackle."

He has discussed the future of all his players with them, he said.

"I have talked with everybody that I think I have to.

"I know which players have to go and which have to come but you never know if they go or if they come because it will depend on a lot of aspects," he said.

Striker Radamel Falcao has been told he will not be coming back to Old Trafford next season.

United won a hotly-contested race to sign the Colombia striker on loan from Monaco last summer, but he has scored just four goals in 29 appearances for van Gaal's side this season.

United had the chance to sign the 29-year-old on a permanent basis for £43.2m, but Belfast Telegraph Sport understands the club have told Falcao they will not exercise that option.

Falcao was regarded as one of the best strikers in the world after successful spells at Porto, Atletico Madrid and Monaco, but he has looked anything but a world-class forward since moving to Old Trafford.

Falcao was left out of United's squad for yesterday's game due to injury.

Belfast Telegraph


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