Bruce's joy at Hull City's crucial win over Burnley
STEVE Bruce praised his Hull City side for rediscovering their resilient best after climbing back up to second in the Championship with a valuable 1-0 victory at Burnley.
Stephen Quinn's 66th-minute strike was the one moment of magic to settle a dour battle at Turf Moor as the Tigers dug deep to grind out a precious win in the race for the Premier League.
Bruce admitted damaging back-to-back away defeats at Bolton and Crystal Palace had required his side to return to the basics on a snowy night in Lancashire, and he was delighted with the gritty response shown to a live television audience.
"You can talk about game plans and all the rest of it but I told my players that they are the ones who make it happen," said Bruce.
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"We wanted to make sure there was a determination about us not to concede and we reminded a few of what their jobs are. We needed reminding of what we're all about and we showed that again.
"It was never going to be pretty on that sort of night, it was a horrible hard evening.
"But if you're going to be successful and win leagues, you've got to come to these places and perform like we did.
"I'm sure the Sky viewers were considering switching over to the History Channel. I was certainly ready to!
More on Hull City's win at Burnley
"But seriously, it was a great result and puts us in a great frame of mind going into the weekend."
A tight fixture's defining moment came as Bruce introduced substitutes Robert Koren and Jay Simpson midway through the second half.
Within a minute the pair came together to set up Quinn's winner from the edge of the box and Bruce admitted his attacking gamble paid off.
He added: "We put our attacking players on trying to win the match. I didn't think it would happen within 40 seconds but there you go. We won it with the only bit of quality on the night.
"When you've got the players we've got, you know you're always going to be capable of creating something."
After watching Watford, Crystal Palace and Leicester all fail to win home games at the weekend, City made the most of the situation by ending a run of three consecutive away defeats and seven losses against bogey side Burnley.
Up to second and two points better off than third-placed Watford, the Tigers are just three points behind Cardiff, who host Leicester in one of their two games in hand tonight.
City will turn their attentions to facing in-form Nottingham Forest at the KC Stadium this weekend and Bruce is relishing the prospect of seeing his side's unfaltering challenge climax.
"Like everyone else, I asked whether or not we could take advantage," he said.
"The tickly bit will start after this weekend and that's when you'll see all sorts of shenanigans happening.
"It's a crazy league where there's nothing much between top and bottom but we've given ourselves a great chance with nine games to go, five of those at home. The Watford game (April 2) will be a great one."