STEVE BRUCE hailed the spirit of York City in the wake of Wednesday's friendly defeat against his Hull City side, writes Matthew Graves.

The Hull City boss said the Minstermen was "fiercely competitive and put up a tough fight" after his team's 2-0 victory over the Sky Bet League Two side.

Bruce said: "Nigel Worthington has done a great job here. It would be difficult to come here and play in this lovely city, with a wonderful history.

"It was useful for the European matches next week, but as many people know, I've never been a lover of pre-season friendlies."

Bruce used 20 players on Wednesday and second half goals from Sone Aluko and Yannick Sagbo gave Hull victory, in front of a crowd of

2,031 which included 696 travelling fans.

The FA Cup runners-up have played two friendlies already this summer, against non-League opposition.

The Tigers sent sides to North Ferriby and Harrogate Town on Monday resulting in a 1-1 draw and a 5-0 win respectively.

Hull have one more friendly on Saturday, at Barnsley, before their Europa League campaign begins with a first leg tie at FK AS Tren?ín on Thursday.

Having oozed class on the Bootham Crescent pitch, England hopeful Tom Huddlestone said: "It was a good workout because we all got 45 minutes.

"It's tough because the lads that came on at half-time didn't get a proper warm up and most of us played on Monday night as well."

The 27-year-old also credited the Minstermen's work ethic as he said: "They were very up for it, and in our faces from start to finish."