ALEX BRUCE insists Hull City remain together as a squad despite the recent departure of Hatem Ben Arfa and exclusion of Paul McShane from the first-team squad, writes Richard Sutcliffe.
The Tigers travel to Sunderland on Boxing Day hoping to end a damaging 10-game winless run.
During this woeful run, Ben Arfa has cut short his loan spell at the KC amid suggestions he was not buying into the team ethos, while McShane revealed last week that he had been forced to train with the Under-21s.
Bruce confirmed the latter point after the Swansea loss, but remains tight-lipped on the reasons. However, the Hull manager does believe McShane owes his team-mates an apology.
He added: “I heard all this nonsense about what’s on Twitter and the rest of it but it is quite straightforward; Paul knows exactly why he is training with the Under-21 squad at the moment.
“He has been quite quick to reveal that he is in there and I hope he comes out and tells the reason why he is in there. If he apologises to myself and to the squad then he will come back into the fold. It is entirely up to Paul.”
Hull’s poor run has fuelled suggestions among supporters that all is not well behind the scenes but Alex Bruce insists that is definitely not the case.
Asked if last season’s togetherness had gone, the Tigers defender said: “I wouldn’t agree with that, no. A couple of individuals, like in any work, want to create a bit of noise when things are going against you.
“You normally find those individuals are the ones that aren’t doing well themselves.
“If that is coming out that the sense of togetherness isn’t there, well that couldn’t be further from the truth.”
Hull assistant manager Steve Agnew has left the KC for Middlesbrough.