Tigers have the tools up front to survive – Bruce
STEVE BRUCE believes Dame N’Doye and Abel Hernandez can get the goals required to keep Hull City in the Premier League.
The Tigers head to Swansea City this weekend without eight-goal top scorer Nikica Jelavic.
His absence and Gaston Ramirez being unlikely to feature after suffering a hamstring strain on international duty means Bruce will have to turn to record signing Hernandez.
The Uruguayan ended a five-month scoring duck in City’s last outing, the 3-2 home defeat to Chelsea.
And Bruce believes both £10m summer signing Hernandez and N’Doye have what it takes to keep the Yorkshire club clear of trouble.
“Against Chelsea, we were without Jelavic – and Huddlestone and Diame – yet we still managed to put in a hell of a performance,” said the Tigers chief.
“That was because we have got people who can step in, such as N’Doye and Abel.
“To me, Abel has been showing all the signs recently that he is getting back. He played against England’s two best centre-backs (John Terry and Gary Cahill) in our last game and gave them a hell of a going. That bodes well.
“It was good for him to score, especially after he had that earlier chance. I’m convinced he’ll be a goalscorer and a good player for us. Sometimes, you just have to wait.”
Ramirez is understood to have suffered the injury in training and he was left of the 11-man bench for Uruguay’s 1-0 win over Morocco.
If he does miss the trip to Wales, it could mean a lengthy absence with Ramirez not allowed to face Southampton at St Mary’s on April 11 under the terms of his loan deal. City’s next scheduled game after that, Liverpool at home a week later, is in doubt due to the Reds continued involvement in the FA Cup.
With or without Ramirez, City will head to Swansea in confident mood after a fine display against Chelsea that left Bruce confident his troops can stay up.
He added: “We were absolutely fantastic, it was arguably as good as we have played since I have been in the Premier League.”
Hull’s run-in is tough, with home games against Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United still to come along with trips to Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur.