Football - Bruce still confident of promotion

Steve Bruce remains convinced Hull will be playing in the Barclays Premier League next season, despite witnessing them miss the chance to secure automatic promotion after a 2-0 defeat at Barnsley.

PA Sport

The Tigers have seen a seven-point lead over third-placed Watford trimmed to just a solitary point ahead of next weekend's crucial final round of fixtures, with champions Cardiff visiting the KC Stadium and the Hornets hosting Leeds.

Bruce's side have failed to find the net in their last three outings after turning in a below-par performance at Oakwell, where the hosts claimed the spoils thanks to goals from Jacob Mellis and Chris O'Grady.

Bruce said: "It's a big, huge week and I'm confident we'll respond in the right way.

"The reason why we've got ourselves in this position is we've played badly before and responded

"Thankfully, it's still in our hands but we certainly need to perform to a level which we haven't seen in this game."

The saving grace for the Tigers may be their opponents on the day, with Cardiff having little incentive given their place at next year's top table is already secured, a theory Bruce was quick to dismiss.

He said: "You look at whoever you play and there's never an easy game to play.

"What you have to do is get to a level of performance, consistently, and we've been able to do that throughout the year.

"Over the last couple of performances we haven't been able to get there but I'm confident we'll do it next week."

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