Bruce refuses to blame Huddleston for miss
Hull City manager Steve Bruce has refused to blame midfielder Tom Huddlestone for missing a penalty which cost the Tigers victory in their first ever European match, reports The Hull Daily Mail.
Striker Shane Long was pulled down in the box in the 63rd minute of the Europa League tie in Slovakia against AS Trencin, but Huddlestone’s spot kick was saved by home goalkeeper Miloš Volešák. The rebound came straight back to the former Tottenham man, but he hit his second attempt against the bar, and the match finished 0-0.
But Bruce was prosaic about the passing up of such a golden opportunity, saying: “We’ve all missed penalties and made mistakes. You don’t intentionally do it.”
Huddlestone himself apologised to the Hull supporters via Twitter, writing: “Can only apologise to everyone for a lapse in concentration and thinking I had scored the rebound before I had. Ridiculous on my behalf.”
While Hull were disappointed not to register an away goal, they were pleased with the performance, especially considering that they had only been back in training for two weeks following their summer break.
Huddlestone acknowledged the effort that the team had made in trying circumstances, and the platform that a draw gives the Tigers for the second leg back on Humberside next week. “On a positive note, the lads worked hard and defended well throughout deserved our clean-sheet. All to play for next week,” wrote the 27-year-old England international.
Bruce was also not overly disappointed not to have won the tie on the night, eyeing the return match at the KC Stadium confidently as a chance to progress.
“It would have been nice to come back with a victory, which I thought we edged, but overall it’s been a wonderful experience for us all,” said Bruce. “We’re at home next week and we’ll be better physically. We’ve had a bit of competition now and we’ll put some work in when we get home and look forward to the second leg.”
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