LONDON (Reuters) - Hull City manager Steve Bruce warned his players that they must fight harder if they are to avoid a Premier League relegation scrap after they slumped to a 3-0 home defeat by Newcastle United on Saturday.
Bruce had emphasised the importance of winning games at their KC Stadium ahead of the visit of Newcastle, who were without an away victory since November.
Instead of rising to the occasion, an abject Hull performance ended in their fourth consecutive defeat with goals from Remy Cabella, Sammy Ameobi and Yoan Gouffran for the visitors.
The manor of the defeat, leaving Bruce’s men without a goal since a 2-0 home win against Everton on New Year’s Day, was a cause for concern for the under-pressure manager.
“Against any Premier League team, when you’re at home, you need to see more resilience, a bit more fight and a bit more determination to make sure it’s not going to be an embarrassing afternoon, which it turned into,” Bruce told BT Sport.
The loss left Hull in the relegation zone in 18th place, one point adrift of safety.
Bruce confirmed that the club have agreed a fee for Lokomotiv Moscow forward Dame N‘Doye and are in talks to sign Tottenham Hotspur winger Aaron Lennon.
Senegalese striker N‘Doye has scored 27 goals in 66 appearances for the Russian club.
Asked if attacking reinforcements will help to end Hull’s poor run of form, Bruce said it was his current players who should take responsibility for reversing the team’s fortunes.
“We’ve got to look at ourselves and what we’ve got here. It’s the first time in two and half years since these players have been with me that we’ve been, I wouldn’t say in crisis, but in a bit of trouble,” said Bruce who guided Hull to the FA Cup final last year.
“We need to roll our sleeves up and show what we’re about, and give it more than we did today. If we do, we’ll be okay but if we don’t we’ll be in big trouble.”
Reporting by Sam Holden, editing by Ed Osmond