STEVE BRUCE has hailed the return to form of Ahmed Elmohamady after believing the Hull City wideman’s “head had been turned” by speculation during the transfer window.
The Egyptian enjoyed a 100-game run in the starting line-up for the Tigers before being dropped to the bench for the visit to Cardiff City nine days ago.
Elmohamady, who also played for Bruce at Sunderland, also had to sit out last weekend’s 1-1 draw with Queens Park Ranger.
However, as Bruce made nine changes in Tuesday’s 1-0 Capital One Cup victory over Swansea City, Elmohamady returned to the side and played a leading role in David Meyler’s winner.
Bruce had made the winger captain for the night and was delighted with the response of a player who was linked with several Premier League clubs before the window closed at the start of this month.
“As far as I was concerned, he wasn’t at the level I expected him to be,” said the Hull manager. “I have known him for five or six years and I believe he was genuinely affected by all the nonsense which continually surrounds him.
“His head was turned by it all but he was more like it, more like Elmohamady against Swansea. That was good to see.
“He knows what I think of him. I have picked him for six years! I see what I see and I can’t be seen to have favourites. He has not been happy but I would expect all of the players who are not playing to be like that.”
Meanwhile, Jake Livermore has thanked the City fans for their welcome on his return to the fold after a failed drugs test.
An FA disciplinary hearing gave the 25-year-old the green light to resume his career after hearing how his baby son’s death had affected the midfielder.
Livermore played the first 68 minutes against Swansea, his first action since May 9. On Twitter, Livermore said: “Can’t thanks the fans enough for the overwhelming support and reception I received last night.
“Also my team mates thank you for your support throughout. These words won’t explain the feeling but was great to be back in the shirt and play in front of my family and by that I mean each and every fan and friend who supported me through this as well. Great result too, onwards and upwards.”