Steve Bruce was relieved to say goodbye to January and banish his manager-of-the-month hoodoo after guiding Hull to a 1-0 victory at Millwall.

A first-minute strike from David Meyler, whose loan move from Sunderland was made permanent on January 8, was enough to secure a first league win of 2013.

Meyler's solitary strike also lifted the Tigers back level on points with Leicester with only goal difference keeping Bruce's side behind the Foxes in the race for the second automatic promotion spot.

It was a welcome win for Bruce, whose side had struggled since he was named the npower Championship's manager of the month for December, and the ex-Sunderland boss insisted he could now look forward.

"I'm pleased to get January out of the way with the nonsense that goes on - I'm amazed my phone hasn't rang today," he said. "Since I got that flaming award we've not won. I said that the time - I think it's about five times that's happened to me now.

"Last time I got it, I got the sack three months later. We're unbeaten in seven away from home now but it is nice to get that first league win of the year.

"You have to show a bit of resilience in this league and we've done that again here.

"David Meyler has been a terrific acquisition for us. He's had a really good start to his career here, particularly when you consider he's had a few knee injuries. I just hope he has a bit of luck now and he can stay fit. If he can, he'll be a big player for us."

Lions manager Kenny Jackett refused to be downbeat, and said: "I felt we put a lot of pressure on a very good Hull team. I think we were unlucky to lose the game and I felt we did well barring finding the goal. The opening 45 seconds aside, where Mark (Beevers) has made a mistake, I think he has been excellent.

"I thought he was very steady after that - he didn't go to pieces. We've not showed that energy or got that amount of crosses in for some weeks. So there is a lot to be positive about for us, barring the finish which is such a big part of the game."