Tigers rollercoaster drains Bruce

Steve Bruce revealed some of his Hull squad were "hiding in toilets" when their promotion to the Premier League was confirmed

Last Updated: 04/05/13 at 19:04 Post Comment

Hull fans celebrate after a joyous day for the Tigers

Hull fans celebrate after a joyous day for the Tigers

An emotionally-drained Steve Bruce revealed some of his Hull squad were so nervous they were "hiding in toilets" when their promotion to the Barclays Premier League was confirmed on an extraordinary afternoon at the KC Stadium.

Bruce and his squad endured "torture" as they were made to wait on the outcome of Watford's result against Leeds after their own pulsating encounter against champions Cardiff, which had a sending off, two penalties and a mini pitch invasion in the final eight minutes, finished 2-2.

When the final whistle sounded in East Yorkshire there was still plenty of time left at Vicarage Road because of a first-half injury and one goal would have seen the Hornets finish second.

Yet it was Brian McDermott's men who would get the goal which gave Leeds a 2-1 win and sparked joyous celebrations for Bruce and his men back in the bowels of their stadium.

"I've been in the game a long, long time and I don't think I've ever seen or witnessed anything quite like that," said Bruce afterwards.

"The 10, 12 minutes was just ridiculous and having to wait.. We've seen people in tunnels, people walking in corridors, people hiding in toilets, it was just really incredible.

"And for Leeds to score, it was just remarkable and just shows you how difficult a league this is. To get up without any strikers for three months is just a remarkable testament to this squad."

"Even today, when we went 1-0 down I thought 'This is going to test them' and they've come out again and shown what a great bunch they are.

"They might not be as naturally talented but they're a great bunch and they've got a huge desire which has took us where we wanted to be."

The Tigers perhaps should have sealed promotion themselves long before today.

Yet, without a goal in three, they have made life difficult and faced an even more uphill task today when a player formerly of their parish ignited a crazy second half.

Substitute Fraizer Campbell, who was on loan with Hull when they were last promoted in 2008, opened the scoring yet goals from Nick Proschwitz and Paul McShane swung the pendulum in Bruce's side's favour.

As the game moved into stoppage time Hull were going up by virtue of their own victory, and the icing should have been applied once Cardiff captain Andrew Taylor had been sent off before the hosts were awarded a penalty.

Yet, as dozens of fans spilled onto the pitch thinking the promotion race was over, Proschwitz's spot-kick was saved and the Bluebirds raced up the other end to get a penalty of their own which substitute Nicky Maynard converted.

It meant ex-Manchester United defender Bruce needed to find an unlikely ally in Leeds.

"I don't think I've ever been supporting Leeds but wow, for Leeds United to do it for me is remarkable," added Bruce.

"It's been a really, really fantastic effort by everybody concerned."

The visitors may have already been crowned champions prior to this clash, but there was a sharpness about Malky Mackay's men which suggested they wanted to end their glorious campaign on a high.

"There's no way I wanted to lose the game today and I don't think we deserved to lose the game today," said the Bluebirds boss.

"In Nicky Maynard, Fraizer Campbell and Rudy Gestede I've got three strikers on at the end trying to win the game.

"But I don't think Steve expects anything different. Steve didn't expect any favours from me today and didn't get any. You see his team fighting to the end."

They more than played their part in an incredible contest too, which left both managers drawing comparisons with Brentford's League One clash against Doncaster clash last week.

Mackay added: "I thought the Brentford thing was crazy last week but a sending off, two penalties and a pitch invasion in the space of five minutes is certainly something I've never experienced before but, thankfully, we got the goal back which I think we thoroughly deserved.

"We got off the pitch and allowed Hull to have their day, because this is Hull's day. We got a point and got out of here but congratulations to Steve Bruce and Hull today."

Bruce added: "Overall we deserved it. The ref gave them an unbelievable decision to give Cardiff a penalty but it's our day. I would like to say well done to Watford who pushed us all the way.

"It took guts for us, they rolled their sleeves up and have put in a real shift.

"We had heard Watford were 2-0 up and they weren't - we could have put it to bed. How many chances have we had? We had a penalty and missed it. This is totally ridiculous.

"I have said for weeks there would be twists and turns. I have never experienced anything like the last 10 or 15 minutes."

Paul McShane, one of Hull's goal scorers, said: "I thought it was over and was thinking of the play-offs.

"I couldn't have written this better. We made it hard but we saved the best until the last day."

Team-mate George Boyd was one of those who hid in the changing rooms.

"I couldn't watch it," he said.

"Leeds have done us a massive favour and well done to them for putting on a show. They could have easily thrown it in but they did us a favour."


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