IN the immediate aftermath of Hull City’s victory over Sunderland on Saturday, ex-Black Cats boss Steve Bruce was buzzing.
But even though he was happy to live in the moment, he already had one eye on the future and the knowledge of just how significant this win was.
“This was huge for us,” Bruce acknowledged.
“We’ve restored that 10-point gap between the two teams with more a quarter of the season now gone.
“I know it might sound as though it is easy to recoup that gap at this stage of the season, but far from it.
“It is not easy to win three games in a row in this division.
“And that means we can look forward to staying ahead of them for some time, which is important.
“At the end of the day, we’ve got the three points which puts us 10 points above both Sunderland and Crystal Palace (in fact, Hull are 11 better off than Palace).
“And one thing I know is that we’ve got to get as many points against the teams which will be in and around us at the bottom as we can.
“And, in my humble opinion, Sunderland and Crystal Palace will be the teams near the bottom come the end of the campaign.”
“The most important thing for me is to keep this club in this division and, with a quarter of a season gone, I’ve got to be happy with where we are at.
Bruce – a decent man, who did a decent job at Sunderland – had to endure the usual chants of “Fat Geordie b*” from the visiting fans of the club he managed from 2009-2011.
“As far as I’m concerned, it’s gone, it’s history and we should all move on with our lives, although it’s nice to always get one over on your old team,” he shrugged diplomatically.
But anyone who knows him, will know how sweet this victory was for him.
And this week he will head into training feeling that the stresses have eased on him a number of fronts.