18 October 2014 20:02
Steve Bruce refused to be critical of his Hull City side after they were held to a 2-2 draw by Arsenal in the Premier League on Saturday.
Mohamed Diame and Abel Hernandez cancelled out Alexis Sanchez’s opener at the Emirates Stadium as Hull looked set for a first win over Arsenal since 2008.
However, Alexis jinked past a host of Hull defenders to set up Danny Welbeck to snatch a point for the hosts at the death.
It capped an ultimately frustrating day for the visitors, who saw Steve Harper and Michael Dawson go off injured with arm and ankle injuries respectively after Nikica Jelavic sustained a knee injury in the warm-up.
However, Bruce was pleased with the point and highlighted Alexis’ quality as a key factor in Arsenal gaining a draw.
“If I’m being honest, you’re satisfied with a point. Today, I didn’t think we were going to concede because we were comfortable,” he added.
“We ran out of juice badly with the internationals away and we made a mistakes. To be fair, the little boy Sanchez has gone past three of us in the 90th minute, which is not easy to do.
“He’s produced a great pass for Welbeck and he’s finished with aplomb. Very disappointing because I thought we were going to hang on, which would have been a big win for us.
“How can I criticise them? They’ve been terrific, in the last six months we’ve played at Arsenal twice and took them on twice – it took them until extra-time to beat us in the cup final.”
Bruce confirmed Harper had likely suffered a torn bicep, leaving him with one recognised senior goalkeeper in the form of Eldin Jakupovic, and that he would likely try to recall Mark Oxley from his loan spell at Hibernian.
The former Sunderland boss was also insistent that the draw showed the progress Hull have made in recent seasons.
“To come here and play [well], just shows you the strides we’ve made. [The players] are disappointed more than anything because they’re close again,” he added.
“I think the frustration is it’s happened four times to us [this season] where we’ve conceded late on, which is disappointing.
“We’re disappointed to take a point from Arsenal – I’ve come here before and we’ve played their reserves and been beaten five and six and you go away with your tail between your legs so we’ve done extremely well to get a point.”