sport

Bruce hailed by Hull owners

Hull City boss Steve Bruce has been hailed by the club's owners Assem and Ehab Allam after an impressive first season back in the Premier League.

The Tigers currently have a five-point cushion above the bottom three as they occupy 13th place and Bruce, who replaced Nigel Pearson at the KC Stadium in summer 2012, has guided them to a historic first FA Cup final appearance.

Their 37 points, which looks to be enough to secure their Premier League status for another year, is also the club's highest points tally in the top-flight with three games still to play.

After signing the likes of Tom Huddlestone and Curtis Davies in the summer, Bruce was able to boost his squad in January by breaking the club's transfer record to bring in strike duo Shane Long and Nikica Jelavic from West Brom and Everton respectively.

Owner Assem Allam, who has come under fire from sections of the City fan base for wanting to change the name to Hull Tigers, admitted his delight at Bruce's transfer dealings.

"Steve has built a team the whole community can be proud of," he told the Hull Daily Mail.

"Football is like business, you stand or fall by your decisions. If he had failed, we would have failed."

Acting chief executive Ehad Allam was also full of praise for the work done by Bruce throughout the campaign, with survival their initial priority at the start of the season.

"Steve has done a great job," said Ehab Allam. "He has proved to be a very good manager this season.

"We brought him here because of that, and he has lived up to his reputation. He has exceeded all our expectations this season.

"To be promoted in his first year in charge exceeded our expectations. To be in an FA Cup final and look like we are on course for survival has also exceeded all our expectations.

"But then we have also exceeded our expectations by spending what we have."

"Under Steve's leadership he has got the team working the way he wants it. Things are working well in general and all the cogs are working together. It has very much been a good team effort.

"We have been able to get injured players back to fitness fairly quickly so they are able to play again, which has helped to field the best squad possible.

"In general, what we have done both on and off the field has been fantastic."