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 By PA Sport

Angry Steve Bruce lays into 'lifeless' Hull City after Aston Villa loss

Hull City manager Steve Bruce said that he is desperate to avoid the 'second season syndrome'.

Angry Hull City boss Steve Bruce offered a stinging assessment of his team's struggles in the opening 45 minutes of their 2-1 defeat at Aston Villa.

Bruce was unwilling to accept that the midweek disappointment of crashing out of the Europa League on away goals was an acceptable reason for the display.

"I can't get over how bad we were in the first half," he said. "I've been at the club a couple of years and that is arguably the worst I've seen us perform.

"I can't remember us performing so badly. I don't look for excuses, I've just never seen so many people perform so badly.

"Whether it's a hangover [from Europe] or whatever, I won't accept it. I won't accept a performance where we were so lifeless it was incredible.

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"To win a game or take something in the Premier League, you have to perform like we did in the second half.

"We gifted them goals [in the first half], we made mistake after mistake, we didn't get above a jog. We were that poor.

"Maybe it's a wake-up call... maybe we were all getting carried away with all the nonsense that has been written about us."

Nikica Jelavic's deflected header halved the two-goal lead created by Gabriel Agbonlahor and Andreas Weimann inside 36 minutes, but the home side held on for the three points.

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