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Bruce: 'Harsh' red card not an excuse

Steve Bruce insists Yannick Sagbo's red card is not an excuse for Hull's failure to progress in the Europa League, despite it being "harsh" according to the Tigers boss.

Sagbo was sent off in the 71st minute as his team chased a crucial third goal which would have taken them through.

With ten men the Tigers could not break through the Lokeren defence but Bruce says the dismissal was the latests in a series of 'ridiculous' decisions his team have received over the last week:

Cellino opens door for future Hockaday return

Hours after sacking head coach Dave Hockaday, Leeds United President Massimo Cellino says he would like him back at the club some day.

Hockaday was sacked on Thursday
Hockaday was sacked on Thursday

Hockaday was in charge for 70 days and took charge of six games, including two friendlies.

A loss to West Yorkshire rivals Bradford City proved to be the last straw for the Italian and Hockaday was relieved of his duties on Thursday evening.

In an interview, Cellino said:

I felt sorry for him and had to give him some tranquillity. After the game on Wednesday, I found him in real trouble, it was getting too much for him. It was hell for him. He was under big, big pressure. I had to do something.

I think he has good qualities. I found he had skills, loyalty and a desire to work hard. He is a very nice man – probably too nice. In the future, when I have a stronger team, I would like him to come back to Leeds. He is the perfect coach for a club that is strong.

– Massimo Cellino
Hockaday was sacked on Thursday
Hockaday was sacked on Thursday Credit: Press Association

Hockaday was the surprise choice to replace Brian McDermott. His only previous managerial experience was with Conference Premier side Forest Green Rovers.

Cellino insists that he did not make a mistake in appointing his coach and that the situation Hockaday found at Leeds meant he did not have a fair chance:

I don’t think it was a fair chance for Hockaday. He needed an environment that was ready to protect him. I told him a couple of days ago ‘it’s not your fault’. The club doesn’t have a physical trainer or a goalkeeping coach. The team isn’t strong enough. The whole culture isn’t right. It’s easier to coach Real Madrid than Leeds at the moment. Hockaday needed time, but there was a game Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday, Tuesday, and he never had that time. He agreed with my decision and it was like a weight had been lifted from him.

– Massimo Cellino

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Hull close on Hernandez signing

"Red tape" is all that is currently in the way of Hull City confirming the signing of Uruguay striker Abel Hernandez.

Speaking after his team's Europa League exit at the hands of Belgian side KSC Lokeren, Steve Bruce said the deal was all but done.

Having sold Shane Long to Southampton just six months after his arrival at the club, Bruce has been on the lookout for a replacement:

Bruce disappointed with Europa League exit

A 2-1 victory over Lokeren was not enough to take Hull City through to the Europa League group stages.

Two goals from Robbie Brady put them in front on the night but the Belgian's goal proved crucial as they progressed on the away goals rule.

Tigers boss Steve Bruce said he was not happy to exit the competition:

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