London (AFP) – Steve Bruce saluted Wembley hero Mohamed Diame as the Senegal midfielder’s sublime winner sent Hull back to the Premier League on Saturday.
Bruce’s side were bidding to make an immediate return to the top flight following last season’s painful relegation and Diame ensured the Tigers achieved their goal with a memorable 1-0 victory.
With a tense Championship play-off final against Sheffield Wednesday goalless with 18 minutes remaining, Diame took the game by the scruff of the neck as he curled a stunning strike into the top corner from 25 yards.
That was enough to make Hull boss Bruce the first manager to win four promotions to the top flight in the Premier League era and he was quick to praise Diame’s decisive contribution.
“That little bit of quality, to decide a big game, Diame has produced a bit of magic and it’s won us the match,” Bruce said.
“We seemed to have so many good chances. Thankfully Diame has come up with a wonder strike that would have graced any cup final.
“I’m delighted for him because it’s been a tough season for him with his knee injury.”
Diame added: “It was a long, tough season, but tonight we are going to enjoy it.”
After the anguish of last season’s relegation, which came a year after Hull were narrowly beaten in the FA Cup final by Arsenal, Bruce’s team finally ended a season on a high note.
“A year ago it was tears of disappointment, today it’s tears of joy,” Hull captain Michael Dawson said after lifting the play-off final trophy.
“I’m delighted for every one of the players, the manager and everyone else.”
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