Steve Bruce now convinced Hull City can reach Premier League
STEVE Bruce says a resounding victory over former club Birmingham City has finally convinced him Hull City are the real deal in the Championship automatic promotion race.
The Tigers produced the biggest victory of Bruce's reign on Saturday as they turned on the style to thump Birmingham 5-2 at the KC Stadium.
Two goals apiece for George Boyd and Gedo, and another from Robert Koren capped a sumptuous attacking display to send City galloping back up to second in the Championship.
With 11 games remaining and a two-point cushion separating City from third-placed Watford, only now is Bruce beginning to believe in a return to the Premier League during his debut season at the KC.
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He said: "I wouldn't have taken the job if I didn't think we'd be competitive, but it's only now that I'm thinking that we've got a great chance. I really, really think that.
"You can very quickly lose six or seven in this division but there's a determination in us which tells me we're going to make a real fist of it.
"Whether or not we're good enough, who knows?
"It's only until this game, with 11 games to go, that I feel we've got a great chance. I don't think we're the ones that others will be looking to catch but we've got a chance."
After suffering the heaviest defeat of Bruce's reign when losing 4-1 at Bolton, the City boss was treated to the club's biggest victory in over two years as a stirring response.
Not since beating Southampton 5-0 in March 2008 have City scored five at the KC Stadium and, with a quarter of the season remaining, the Tigers are back within five points of league-leaders Cardiff.
Asked if Saturday's win had sent out a message to their promotion rivals, Bruce said: "It would have been better at 5-0 but this division enthralls me because of its fierce competition.
"You can never take anything for granted. We wouldn't have thought Middlesbrough would beat Cardiff, you wouldn't think Ipswich would beat Leicester. It's fierce.
"But we've got a chance because we've got a really strong group of players who are a talented bunch.
"I also detect a steely determination. Who knows where it will take us?
"I'd still rather be in Cardiff's position and it's a huge game next at Crystal Palace."
City head to Selhurst Park tomorrow night with spirits sky high after a new strike pairing of Boyd and Gedo reaped instant dividends.
As well as seeing Gedo make it five goals from five games with a lethal brace, Boyd marked his full debut with a double of his own, the first coming after just 47 seconds.
Bruce was delighted with the on-loan Peterborough man's contribution and said: "It baffles me why he hasn't played in the Premier League, it really, really does.
"Sometimes players just need a chance, but certainly for me George Boyd could play at the very highest level without question."
• Gallery: Hull City 5 Birmingham City 2 in pictures