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Bruce: Fight to stay in league will go to the wire

Hull manager Steve Bruce believes the battle to stay in the Barclays Premier League may not be resolved until the last day of the season.

Press Association

Victory for the Tigers against Southampton on Tuesday night would have taken them 10th, while their eventual 1-0 defeat meant they ended the night just three points above the relegation zone.

With so many sides bunched so tightly together, unpredictable results now a weekly occurrence and half of the division treating relegation as a realistic possibility, Bruce is not alone in looking over his shoulder.

Steve Harper will be hoping to take his chance to impress Credit: Press Association

Hull take a break from league duties on Monday night when they travel to Brighton in the fifth round of the FA Cup, with veteran goalkeeper Steve Harper hoping for one more chance to stake his claim.

The former Newcastle man has impressed when standing in for Allan McGregor this term, often in the cup competitions but also during the Scot's three-game suspension which expired after the Southampton game.

McGregor is likely to retain Bruce's faith, but Harper has at least made it a tough call.