Championship - Bruce ready for closing battles

Steve Bruce insists the race for the second automatic promotion place in the npower Championship is "still all to play for" as the campaign reaches its climax.

PA Sport
Premier League - Bruce keen to think about league

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Hull boss Steve Bruce (PA Photos)

Bruce may have watched his second-placed Hull side beaten 1-0 by Wolves in his first return to Molineux since being overlooked for the Wanderers job 14 months ago.

But - on a night on which leaders Cardiff sealed promotion to the Barclays Premier League - the setback was countered by third-placed Watford's 1-0 defeat at Millwall, which ensures the Tigers' six-point advantage is maintained with just three matches now remaining.

"It would have been nice to have got a result, of course it would, but we'll have to go to the weekend," said Bruce, who admitted he was keeping up-to-date with Watford's result from the touchline. "I don't think we were ever going to do it easy, it's still all to play for.

"Up until this game we were third, I think, over the last 10 games in terms of form so we've managed to hang on in there when the tickly bit starts and it's certainly upon us now. Our opponents have found it very, very difficult too. So it's all to play for."

He added: "We've been helped, there's another game gone and we need four points."

Wolves boss Dean Saunders said: "We're out of the bottom three with three games to go, if we win the three games now nobody can get above us so that's what we've got to look at really, instead of just looking at getting a win now and a draw.

"We've got to try and win the three games and then we're safe."

And the Welshman joked the stress of the relegation battle is starting to get to him.

"I had a look in the mirror this morning and I've got grey hairs coming on my chest so I'm in big trouble," he quipped.

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