HULL CITY manager Steve Bruce praised Jake Livermore for his man-of-the-match performance in the 3-0 win over Burnley at the KC Stadium.
The victory moved Hull up to third in the Sky Bet Championship, goals from Livermore, Abel Hernandez and Sam Clucas sinking a Burnley side who looked far from challengers for promotion to the Premier League.
Livermore opened the scoring early in the second half with a fine volley into the bottom corner of the goal.
Hernandez doubled the lead shortly after when he cut in from the right side of the area and fired left-footed into the opposite corner for his ninth Championship goal of the season.
Clucas completed the scoring with a close range shot into the roof of the net following good work by substitute Robert Snodgrass in second-half stoppage time.
Burnley rarely threatened and did not make Hull goalkeeper Allan McGregor make a serious save.
Livermore took time out of the game after failing a drug test for cocaine, but since coming back in has starred for the Tigers, taking the captain's armband in the absence of injured defender Michael Dawson.
Bruce said of Livermore: "It's important for him that he gets the headlines for the right reasons.
"Today was his best performance for us that I can recall.
"All the goals were terrific and in particular Jake's. Abel's and Clucas' too were good goals, but Jake's was a very good goal."
Bruce admitted that his side's performance had dipped in the 2-0 defeat at Rotherham in the previous game and said sometimes his players could not lift themselves when playing twice in a week.
"That is the Championship. We play a lot of games and sometimes you are not physically where you should be," he said.
"A marathon runner can run three races in a week, but he won't match the time in the second and third ones.
"Today we've had all week to prepare and had the freshness and the energy about us.
"I have to say to the supporters get themselves full of turkey every week because the atmosphere was terrific. They played their part."
Burnley manager Sean Dyche felt his side matched Hull until the first goal and also claimed Andre Gray missed the best opening of the game shortly after his side went 1-0 down to Livermore's goal.
He said: "I think until the first goal there wasn't much in it. After the first goal we had the best chance and we didn't take it.
"They got a second goal and after that we've had to throw caution to the wind. The second goal is a real killer.
"I write off the third goal because by then we were chasing the game."
Dyche felt his side's performance was typical of them away from their Turf Moor home this season, where they tend to dominate opponents.
"At home we look like we score every time we have a chance, but not as much away from home," he added. "We need to create more, particularly on the road.
"We showed signs of it today, but without being as productive in the final third."