New striker partnership could be catalyst for Premier League success

Steve Bruce has declared that he is happy with his transfer window business following the arrival of £14m strikers Nikica Jelavic and Shane Long, and the departures of fringe players Cairney, Stewart, Mclean, Gedo, Proschwitz, Hobbs and Graham.

New striker partnership could be catalyst for Premier League success

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Andy

February 3rd, 2014

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The City manager’s main concern this season has been a lack of a regular goal scorer, and the purchase of the two experienced strikers could be the catalyst for a move up the table.

The Republic of Ireland international Long is a hard working player that will always give 100% in every game. Energy and work-rate are real assets of his game, and he is one of those players that will always create a chance out of nothing through sheer determination.

Both Long and Jelavic have good goal scoring records. Long has 22 in 87 games for West Bromwich Albion. Jelavic has scored 21 goals in 69 appearances for Everton.

The former Hajduk Split and Rapid Vienna striker, Jelavic, joined Everton from Rangers for £5.5m two years ago, and made an instant impact in scoring nine goals in his first 13 matches for the Toffees.

He was named Premier League Player of the Month for April 2012, and his then-manager David Moyes said he had given the Toffees “a really big lift”.

Bruce was certainly a relieved man on Saturday evening after City secured an end to his side’s poor run, which has coincided with an upturn in form from some of the league’s bottom sides.

The 1-1 draw with Spurs gave Hull a four-point buffer over the bottom three, and with both January signings impressing in the shape of Long and Nikica Jelavic, Bruce hopes to stay clear of the relegation scrap.

Bruce said after the game, “We had a tough January so we’re delighted we’ve got a point – it could have been three on the basis of the chances. Shane gives us something we’ve been missing – pace. Once he goes through, you know he’s going to run away from everybody.”

“I thought him and Jelavic were a handful for Tottenham all day long.”

Splashing out £14m on Nikica Jelavic and Shane Long is big money for Hull and can be regarded as a gamble. But Bruce will know about the qualities of both players, and also that they are the men capable of pushing City into mid-table and securing Premier League status for another season.

 

Ian Aspinall

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