Steve Bruce beamed at Sone Aluko’s return to form after an impressive cameo helped Hull City snatch a 1-1 Premier League draw at Everton.
Aluko came off the bench early in the second half and soon after left Sylvain Distin chasing shadows in the penalty area before finishing past Tim Howard.
The Nigeria international’s superb individual effort cancelled out Romelu Lukaku’s first-half goal, which had put a rampant Everton deservedly ahead.
While knocking the wind out of the hosts, Aluko’s effort spurred Hull on and they could even have grabbed a winner in the second half.
Bruce said: “It’s been a frustrating time for Sone, but now he’s 100 per cent fit – which has always been the big issue.
“He had a horrible Achilles injury which left him out for a year.
“In my experience it takes another eight-10-12 months to get back playing, especially when you rely on twisting and turning like Sone.
“It’s good to see him reproduce the form from when, for me, he was easily the best player in the Championship when we got promoted.
“He’s been plagued by this injury but we hope he stays injury free because he looks like himself again which is good to see.”
Hull came into the game off the back of four consecutive defeats which had dropped them
into the bottom three, but Bruce revelled in a much-improved display from the weekend’s meek 3-0 defeat at Manchester United.
“We needed a result and we needed to give everybody a lift because it’s been tough over the last month particularly,” he added.
“But the thing about this league I’ve learned is, it’s unforgiving and you can go four or five games without picking up anything.
“It was always going to be difficult, especially when we went behind but thankfully we’ve taken something form the game.
“I’ve just seen [Nikica] Jelavic’s header [after Aluko’s goal] and we were close to winning it, if any team was going to win it, for me it was going to be us in the second half.”