Amidst the curious, hushed but furious scurrying of clubs seeking to strengthen their squads throughout the January window, there were perhaps one or two deals that slipped under the radar.

In particular, Steve Bruce's acquisition of Shane Long from West Brom and Everton's Nikica Jelavic for a hefty combined outlay of £14 million is deserved of greater scrutiny.

They have both been patchy at best for their previous clubs, with Long managing just 19 goals in 81 Premier League matches for his former club, and Jelavic, after a barnstorming start to his Everton career, having netted a paltry seven times in the past 18 months.

Yet Bruce must have faith that these two can find a new lease of life at Hull and fire his team, currently two points above the relegation zone, to ultimate safety.

Hull's current woes in front of goal, having gone four games without scoring until their 1-1 draw with Tottenham, are not for a lack of options up front.

Yet it is the quality of these options that will have been causing the manager nightmares.

Alongside Long and Jelavic, Bruce still has Matty Fryatt, Sone Aluko and Yannick Sagbo to call upon, although none have convinced at this level.

In January, Danny Graham's loan was terminated, Nick Proschwitz was sent out on loan to Barnsley, and Aaron McLean dropped down to Broadford City in League Two.

That Bruce had six strikers at the club before Christmas, none of whom managed more than three league goals, indicates the desperation that led to this huge outlay.

In other areas, Hull are looking in robust health. The tensions over ownership and naming of the club have simmered to a low rumble of disagreement, as opposed to the furious roar that threatened to overwhelm the club before Christmas.

On the field, Bruce has assembled a solid and stable team; Allan McGregor has proved reliable between the sticks, and the preferred back three of Bruce Jnr, Curtis Davies and James Chester have been stable, with no major frailties evident.

The wingback pairing of Elmohamady and Figueroa have been secure in defence and attack, whilst Hull's successes this season have due to the impressive platform of Huddlestone and Jake Livermore in the engine room.

Yet their industry and innovation, alongside one of Meyler, Koren and Boyd, has often borne little fruit due to the paucity of options ahead of them.

Robbie Brady is the top scorer with a paltry four goals in 17 games so far this season, whilst Yannick Sagbo, bought in the summer, has only sparkled sporadically, managing to two goals all season.

By May, Steve Bruce's gamble on two experienced but less-than-prolific attackers will have been jugged as either a fine success, or a dismal failure.

Either way, £14million is a small price to pay to secure Premier League survival, and if the worst does come to pass, then Hull will be in possession of the most expensive strikeforce the Championship has ever seen.

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