KEIR RADNEDGE at WEMBLEY: Hull City manager Steve Bruce was tangled up in mixed emotions after a roller-coaster FA Cup Final which was ultimately snatched out of their grasp in extra time.
Bruce was full of praise for his own players as well as full of regrets after a 3-2 turnaround defeat at Wembley in a gripping contest which his underdogs led 2-0 after eight minutes.
Hailing his players, Bruce said: “They showed an incredible amount of courage to take the game to Arsenal. On another day we might have taken the Cup but it was not to be.”
Bruce said that after such “a great start” he had hoped to reach half-time without conceding a goal. He questioned a “big couple of decisions” by referee Lee Probert.
Hull doubted whether Arsenal should have been awarded the free kick from which Santi Cazorla struck the Gunners’ first goal and considered the corner from which they equalised “should have been a goal kick to us.”
Until then, Bruce said, “I thought it was going to be our day but congratulations to Arsenal to come back from a position where I thought they were down and out. It was a wonderful goal from Cazorla but up to then Arsenal hadn’t posed us a threat.
“Still, we’re delighted with what we’ve done and now we have to move forward. The majority of these players were with me in the Championship so they have had a magnificent couple of years.”
Bruce just regretted that injuries and fatigue caught up with Hull under Arsenal’s relentless pressure.
He said: “We just fell short . . . we were dropping like flies . . . we ran out of juice . . . It wasn’t our day.”
Bruce concluded by congratulating Arsenal and their manager, Arsene Wenger.
He said: “Arsenal are a fantastic club and how he [Wenger] gets the stick he does I just don’t know. He’ a fantastic manager and always puts together a top-class team. Well done to them.”
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