Bruce's experience key to Hull City's promotion chances, says Stephen Quinn
STEPHEN Quinn believes manager Steve Bruce can be the ace in Hull City's pack as the tension begins to mount during the final weeks of the Championship promotion battle.
Quinn was the Tigers' hero on Monday night as his second-half strike secured a precious 1-0 victory at Burnley, a result that elevated City back up to second in the table.
The 21st win of Bruce's debut season at the KC Stadium has restored a two-point advantage over third-paced Watford and, with nine games to go, leaves the Tigers with vivid dreams of the top flight.
Cardiff's 1-1 draw at home to Leicester last night means six points separate the top three this morning.
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Having twice guided Birmingham to promotion out of the Championship in 2002 and 2007, it is a position familiar to Bruce.
And ahead of welcoming Nottingham Forest to East Yorkshire this weekend, Quinn points to his manager's experience as a key factor in City's favour.
"There's nine games to go and we need to give it a right go," he said.
"The manager is so decorated in the game and has seen it and done it all before. That's a massive help.
"The lads have so much respect for him. We take every word in. He is vital in taking the pressure off us.
"He is always stressing that we have to go out and enjoy it because a chance like this might not come along again."
City took full advantage of their rivals' shortcomings when grinding out a victory at Turf Moor.
Breaking their uncomfortable Burnley curse after seven consecutive defeats against the Clarets, the Tigers also ended a worrying sequence of three straight away losses in the Championship.
After leaking 10 goals in three games, a focus on their defensive strengths yielded a 13th clean-sheet of the season and set the stage for Quinn's first goal since October to snatch all three points.
"In this league, you have to be solid and then take your chances when they come along," he said.
"The gaffer says it is the teams who make the least mistakes who are successful in the Championship and that's right. So, if we can cut out a lot of our mistakes and then take the chances when they come along then we have a chance.
"The gaffer's philosophy all season has been for us to play the game in a way we enjoy. That's been fantastic, but sometimes you have to dig in and defend for your lives like we did against Burnley. That shows how adaptable this team is."
A different challenge awaits the Tigers this weekend as they bid for a fifth straight win at the KC against a Forest side in red-hot form under new boss Billy Davies.
Quinn added: "I know it is a cliche about one game at a time but that's because it is true. Forest at home is all that matters right now."