Norwich City boss Chris Hughton is a confirmed admirer of Steve Bruce

Norwich City boss Chris Hughton has plenty of respect for Hull counterpart Steve Bruce. Picture by P

Norwich City boss Chris Hughton has plenty of respect for Hull counterpart Steve Bruce. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Chris Hughton recognises a kindred spirit in Hull counterpart Steve Bruce.

Both left their managerial mark on Birmingham City and both experienced the fractious nature of the great north-east divide from opposite camps. Hughton once inflicted a 5-1 Tyne-Wear Premier League defeat on ex-Sunderland boss Bruce at Newcastle, but there was genuine warmth attached to the words he used to herald Bruce's top flight return after guiding the Tigers through the Championship minefield.

'I have a lot of time for Steve. He is somebody that I know very well and he is an experienced manager in this division,' said Hughton. 'From having played games against him as a player and having plenty of conversations down the years he is someone I have got to know well on the circuit.

'Steve will know exactly what he has to do to set his team up in this division to get results. I expect them to be a competitive and it's nice to see him doing well at Hull. He realises what is required in the Premier League and also the fact there will be certain games Hull will find it more difficult to pick up points.'

Hughton is under no illusions the Canaries will need to embrace the role of party poopers to spoil Hull's long-awaited Premier League homecoming.

'You can come up with plenty of arguments for or against about whether it is a good time to play a newly-promoted side,' he said. 'I would think the atmosphere will be quite ferocious with it being their first game back in the Premier League. If you are one of the teams that have just come up you know how valuable the home points are - as they were for us last season - but we know we will have a big, vocal support as well.

'If I look at their squad I think they have bought very well, particularly over the last week or two. In (Jake) Livermore and (Tom) Huddlestone from Tottenham they have made two excellent purchases who will add to their squad. It will be a stern test for us. I saw the Chelsea game and I felt they equipped themselves well in the second period. That was a difficult first match because I have no doubt it goes through every manager's mind when you go back up into this league just the sheer quality of the opposition you can face.'

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Bruce hailed Norwich as a role model club in the build-up to this afternoon's tussle at the KC Stadium and Hughton accepts City's summer trading is a further illustration of that positive trend.

Ricky van Wolfswinkel lit up last weekend's Premier League opener against Everton and he is poised to be joined in the Canaries' line up on Humberside by another Dutch jewel in Leroy Fer.

'This football club has made continual progress for a number of years,' said Hughton. 'I have been fortunate to be involved for the past season or so and we were able to carry that on. We have brought in some young, very talented players and you want them to help us make progress. Once supporters see you bring in players it is only normal that those expectations are raised.'