England hopefuls Bruce and Allardyce focus on club commitments


England's top two candidates to take over as manager had club focuses on Tuesday as Steve Bruce's Hull City faced Mansfield in pre-season while Sam Allardyce watched Sunderland's Under-21 side.

Hull revealed on Tuesday that Bruce had "held informal discussions" with the Football Association over replacing Roy Hodgson.

Uncapped in an otherwise illustrious and trophy-laden playing career, Bruce outlined his international ambitions before kick-off at Field Mill.

He told Sky Sports News: "I never quite made it as a player, who wouldn't [want it]?

"If you're English and it means something to you, who wouldn't?

"It has to be the prime job that any Englishman would want to have. Yes it's difficult, we know that, but there's something in you.

"I am highly flattered to be even considered and extremely grateful to be considered. If anything happens, let's see what the rest of the week brings and if it does then happy days.

"In an interview you never know, I hope it went OK, I got my point across and let's hope it was successful."

On the pitch, Bruce was given a headache when captain Michael Dawson limped off with injury, but young striker Jarrod Bowen raised a cheer as he secured a 1-0 win.

Ashley Fletcher grabbed his first goal since swapping Manchester United for West Ham, but Slaven Bilic's side threw away a two-goal lead given to them by the striker and Mark Noble to draw 2-2 with Slovacko.

Middlesbrough lost 2-1 to Real Betis in Marbella, but there was good news for Boro fans with Gaston Ramirez making a surprise substitute appearance and the club subsequently revealing the Uruguay international has agreed a three-year deal to return to the Riverside after last season's successful loan spell.

Watford beat Union Berlin 3-1 and Burnley drew 1-1 with Morecambe in other Premier League pre-season friendlies.