Hull City players reflect on FA Cup final that came so close to ending in glory

While it is only a day since Arsenal snatched a dramatic comeback win in this year's FA Cup final, for the heartbroken Hull players it must seem far longer.

When Steve Bruce's men went 2-0 up inside the first ten minutes things could scarcely have looked much better, but goal by goal they were pegged back by Arsenal before Aaron Ramsey grabbed the win in the second half of extra-time.

However it could have been all so different, Hull saw an effort from Alex Bruce cleared off the line by Kieran Gibbs that would have made it 3-0, surely insurmountable even for Arsenal's array of stars.

"Maybe that was the key moment," said Alex Bruce

"Then again, if you'd told us before hand that we would go 2-0 up early on, it should have been a big enough cushion.

"Some might say we went 2-0 up too soon. Once we did, we sat off them. There some tired legs, especially in the second half and then extra-time came.

"It was unfortunate we sat off and let Arsenal to comeback into it. That extra quality they had cost us."

For Bruce and his teammates there is at least the consolation of an unexpected European adventure in next season's Europa League, another first for Hull in a season full of them.

"We've got Europe next season and when you have a taste of the big occasion, you want more of it", he said.

"I'm sure my old man will want to bing in that bit of quality we need, although hopefully no more centre-halves!

"Football is a short career. When you get the opportunity to pay in Europe, you want to make the most of it. You want to grab it with both hands. That's what we'll be looking to do. The top players do it, so why can't we?

"In the League, Europe and the cup competitions, you want to do well in them all.

"When you have an occasion like today, you want more of it.

"If someone told me this was the last ever time I'd play on a stage like this, I'd be devastated. Once you've had a taste, you want more and I'll be striving for that next season.

"Playing in Europe will be massive for the club.It will help us attract better players. We've definitely put Hull on the map today."

James Chester, who made a miraculous recovery to score in the final, is another Hull player who now has a thirst to play in more high-profile matches.

"But seeing Arsenal lift the trophy has given me a real desire to come back here. I certainly don't want this to be a one-off. Not at all. It's been an amazing experience. Getting through the rounds and playing here. It's something I'd love to emulate," he said.

"We've shown this year that we are team with great character. We do have some quality here. No-one gave us a hope at the start of the season to stay up, but we did it quite convincingly with two games to go.

"I think Hull is a club on the up, massively. I love coming in every day. I've got a smile on my face."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test
Tour de France 2015: Twins Simon and Adam Yates have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Twins have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Yates brothers will target the steepest sections in bid to win a stage in France
John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy