Many supporters questioned the decision to enter the event in the first place, with chances of success looking slim and Bruce’s side embroiled in a Premier League relegation dogfight.
Those dissenting voices have only intensified after Hull were beaten 10-3 by Murphy, leaving just 48 hours to re-focus for a crucial trip to Crystal Palace.
“Shaun thoroughly deserved to go through,” Bruce told FourFourTwo. “In the end he just knew too much for us, such as how much the blue ball is worth, what a spider is and how to do up a bow tie.
“But we’re disappointed because we never played our snooker, which is football.”
While Nikica Jelavic pulled off some decent long pots, few other players were able to trouble the scorer and Hull often fell back on blasting the cue ball as hard as possible and hoping for the best – a tactic they were unable to adapt from the football field.
Fans have hit out at Bruce’s ambitious bid for a trophy, pointing out his men were unlikely to upset one of snooker’s best players and would have been better served focusing on football at such a pivotal time.
“I’ll admit that we spent most of the week in Riley’s hitting balls around, ordering expensive rounds and trying not to make eye contact with the regulars,” Bruce said.
“Now we’ve got a busy couple of days to get used to daylight again before the Palace game.
“People will obviously now question our decision to enter snooker’s showpiece event, but I just felt that if we could squeeze past Murphy the draw would open up a bit for us. Still, there’s always the China Open.”
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