Premier League: Hull City boss Steve Bruce delighted at 2-0 win over Sunderland
Hull City boss Steve Bruce admitted his delight as his side were 2-0 winners against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.
Last Updated: 08/02/14 9:18pm
An early red card for Wes Brown aided Bruce's cause against his former club, but goals either side of the break from new striking duo Shane Long and Nikica Jelavic ultimately secured a vital victory.
It was the Tigers' first Premier League win of 2014 and the result put distance between themselves and the relegation zone as they moved into the top half of the table.
Bruce spent over two years in charge on Wearside but he says all that mattered was returning to East Yorkshire with three points in the bag.
"It was a big result," he told Sky Sports. "Forget about all the nonsense about me coming back, the big thing was to come and play well and to win the match.
"We've played well of late but not picked up the points that you need."
Speaking of the red card, Bruce said: "Today, the big decision helps the cause but still after that, you still have to go and win the match. We were fairly comprehensive in the finish.
"I think the big thing was that they're at home so they had to gamble a little bit. They decided to play Johnson off the big striker Altidore and it left things open in the wide areas which we exploited.
"It helps your cause when you're playing against 10 men but you've still got to play and beat the people in front of you."
Long netted his second goal since joining from West Brom in the January transfer window, while Jelavic opened his Hull account following his switch from Everton.
Bruce said: "That's why we brought them to the football club. They've certainly give us something else.
"They're both a bit of quality, a bit different. Long wants to run in behind and Jelavic is a big centre forward who knows the game.
"I'm delighted for Jela because he could have had three or four in the previous games and it hasn't quite ran for him. Like all good strikers, he keeps getting there and if he keeps getting there, he'll score."
Despite the win, Hull still have a fight on their hands to secure their Premier League status and Bruce says it is as tight at the bottom as he has ever known it.
"We're four points above the bottom three, it's quite remarkable," he said. "Everybody's had good results at the bottom end.
"It's an unbelievable season and all of us are scratching our heads. Usually by February, there's one or two adrift but this time there isn't.
"That's what we needed. Our home form has been terrific but always away from home, for a newly promoted club, it's always difficult to win on the road. We've won twice in the North East so let's hope we win somewhere else."