Hull City refocused after international break as Steve Bruce returns with Aston Villa

Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce (Picture: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire).
Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce (Picture: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire).
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HULL CITY manager Nigel Adkins says that he will not be sidetracked by the possibility of more protests from Tigers supporters in tomorrow’s home encounter with Aston Villa.

Popular former Tigers chief Steve Bruce makes his first return to the KCOM Stadium this weekend for a televised fixture tomorrow tea-time.

The Tigers’ previous two live home matches on Sky TV – against Sheffield United and Nottingham Forest – have seen sections of the club’s fanbase display their anger towards the Allam family’s running of the club.

Villa chief Bruce famously resigned ahead of Hull’s 2015-16 Premier League campaign after citing differences with vice-chairman Ehab Allam.

On the prospect of further protests from some Tigers fans, Adkins said: “We are just focusing on what we can do on the pitch, that is the important thing We look at what we can control, control the controllables.

“We have had a refocus with all the players coming back from international duty because we have been dissipated for a couple of weeks. Everybody is back together and we are just focused on what we can do.”

Adkins believes that Bruce, who led the club to promotion on two occasions, should be welcomed back “with open arms”, but insists his return does not put any extra pressure upon his own shoulders.

He added: “It does not put any more pressure on me. It is great that we can be welcoming Steve Bruce back with open arms. He has been the most successful manager in the club’s history.

“Premier League, European cup (Europa League), FA Cup finals, it is fantastic, he has done great at this football club.

“He is now at Aston Villa where he has a different challenge. They are on the back of two defeats as well, so they will be right up for it regardless of Steve coming back here.”