Bruce: Jelavic and Long have changed us

Press Association

Hull manager Steve Bruce believes the club are a "different animal" since the arrival of Nikica Jelavic and Shane Long.

The Tigers splashed a combined £14million to bring the strikers in from Everton and West Brom in January and have been rewarded with immediate results.

The pair have forged an instant relationship up front and have shared five goals in the five games they have started in tandem.

Both players were cup-tied for Monday night's FA Cup fifth-round win over Brighton but will return for Newcastle's visit to the KC Stadium on Saturday.

Hull were 3-2 winners at St James' Park in the reverse fixture in September, but that was the only occasion they scored more than one goal in their first 12 league outings.

They thrashed Cardiff 4-0 last time out, Jelavic scoring twice and Long proving an ideal foil, and Bruce is enthused by his side's new cutting edge.

Shane Long Credit: Press Association

As a boyhood Newcastle fan who went on to earn pantomime villain status among the club's supporters for his decision to take the Sunderland job, Hull's success earlier this season was particularly sweet.

But he insists the affect of a first away win on his team's confidence was more important than any personal satisfaction.

Hull City are on course to stay in the Premier League Credit: Press Association