Bruce intends to ‘look after’ loyal quartet

Paul McShane.Paul McShane.
Paul McShane.
STEVE BRUCE last night revealed Hull City plan to open contract talks with a quartet of players who appeared in last May’s 
FA Cup final.

The Tigers spent an unprecedented sum in the summer transfer window with almost £40m being splashed on a host of new arrivals.

Among those to move to the KC Stadium were record signing Abel Hernandez for £10m, while other big money signings included Jake Livermore (£8m) and Robert Snodgrass (£7m).

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Understandably, a summer influx of signings that eventually reached double figures has seen Bruce opt to name many of the new faces on a regular basis in his starting line-up.

This has led to four of the club’s longest-serving players – Paul McShane, Liam Rosenior, Stephen Quinn and Alex Bruce – being sidelined for much of this term.

Despite that, Bruce wants to begin negotiations with a quartet whose current deals run out next summer.

“I had a conversation with the board recently and the plan is to talk to individuals soon,” said the Hull manager, still smarting from his side’s wretched display in the weekend defeat to Burnley.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“The thing to remember is that we are only 15 months into being a Premier League club. A lot has changed in that time.

“But all those who have been with me, we have to look after them. They are just as important to me as anyone.

“Alex has come in recently. Paul McShane, too. Liam has done the same several times already, and Stephen Quinn.

“They are just as important as someone who thinks they will play every week – your big players, if you like. You need that squad because injuries are inevitable.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

McShane, Bruce, Rosenior and Quinn were all key members of the Hull side that won promotion in 2013.

Boasting more than 400 appearances for the Tigers between them, the quartet also played a significant part in helping Hull adapt to life in the top flight last term.

A tally of 74 league games between them in 2013-14 illustrates just how important a role they played, as does the fact Alex Bruce, Rosenior and Quinn all started in the Cup final defeat to Arsenal while McShane came off the bench midway through the second half at Wembley.

How the four would react to the possibility of committing their futures to the Tigers beyond May remains to be seen.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Alex Bruce, for instance, recently made it clear to The Yorkshire Post he wanted to stay at the KC, but the prospect of more time spent on the bench may not appeal to some.

This was certainly the case with Matty Fryatt, who opted to leave Hull last summer for the promise of regular football in the Championship despite being offered a new deal by Hull.

Manager Bruce, for his part, is keen to stay loyal to a quartet that boasts 14 years of service. He believes all four still have a big role to play and points to recent weeks – and an ever-growing injury list – as proof of that.

“We were without four or five players at Burnley,” said the Hull chief. “That shows what can happen.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“We will make sure we do our best to tie them up. I expect that to happen in the next few weeks. We will start talking to people. It would be naive not to.”

McShane, Hull’s longest serving player, having first joined on loan from Sunderland in 2008 before signing permanently the following year, is the latest member of the squad to be drafted in to cover for injured colleagues.

The 28-year-old, yesterday omitted from the Republic of Ireland squad to face Scotland and the USA, has started the last two league games.

He followed Alex Bruce, since ruled out for a month through a hamstring injury, into the starting XI, while both Rosenior and Quinn have been a near permanent presence on the bench.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Bruce was an angry man on Saturday evening after witnessing at Turf Moor what he felt was the worst performance of his 28 months in charge of Hull.

But he is not someone who wants to dwell on the past with his desire to look forward supported by not only the offer of new deals to McShane, Bruce, Rosenior and Quinn but also his tieing down of key members of his squad whose own deals expire in 2016.

Ahmed Elmohamady, who made his 100th appearance for Hull at Burnley, is likely to be the first to be approached with Bruce seeing the Egyptian as an integral part of his future plans.

This desire to plan ahead will not, though, stretch to sitting down with two other players in the final 12 months of their existing contracts.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Steve Harper, who returned to the side against the Clarets after injury, has promised to make a decision early next year over whether to play on beyond his 40th birthday in March. Bruce is keen to keep the veteran on board but insists it must be his decision.

Maynor Figueroa, meanwhile, looks set to leave. The Honduras international, who played 38 times last term, is on loan with former club Wigan after falling out of favour at the KC.

His only appearances this term have been in the cups and he looks likely to be released come next summer.