MO DIAME has paid tribute to the ‘father-figure’ influence of Hull City manager Steve Bruce for his role in his Tigers’ renaissance.
The in-form attacker has been in outstanding recent form for the East Yorkshire outfit, crowned by a marvellous match-winning goal in their victory at Ipswich Town nine days ago.
Bruce waxed lyrical about Diame’s Portman Road display, labelling it as ‘wonderful’ and how the Tigers chief would cherish something resembling an encore in tonight’s game at Birmingham City – mindful that victory will move Hull two points clear at the top of the Championship.
On paying back Bruce, who supported him during a tough first season at the club in 2014-15 when he was sidelined for a significant spell with a knee injury, six-goal Diame said: “He’s been unbelievable with me, to be honest in looking after me. Even when sometimes when I wasn’t at my best, he could put me on the bench and was still trying to push me and get me back on my feet. I can only say thank you to him.
“He looks after me like a dad and I am happy with him and want to give the best to get promoted and make sure the team is there next season.”
While the vibes out of East Yorkshire are harmonious as Hull push for automatic promotion to the top-flight, the mood is rather more tetchy and fraught up the coast at Middlesbrough.
Boro spurned the chance to move, temporarily at least, two points clear at the summit after meekly losing 2-1 at Blackburn Rovers on Tuesday night, with candid defender Ben Gibson pulling no punches after the game by admitting that the Teessiders got ‘bullied’ on the night.
Some barbed post-match comments also arrived from head coach Aitor Karanka, who controversially said that some supporters would accept defeat because he switched from his usual 4-2-3-1 formation to 4-4-2. Speaking after the game, Karanka said: “I think today everybody in Middlesbrough will be happy because everybody wanted to play with two strikers and we played two.
“So maybe everybody is happy even when we have lost the game.”
Huddersfield Town midfielder Jonathan Hogg has been ruled out for eight weeks with a knee injury sustained in Saturday’s disappointing 1-0 defeat at home to Ipswich Town.