Manager Bruce is confident axed Tigers captain Davies will respond to challenge

STEVE BRUCE is hoping Hull City captain Curtis Davies will follow Tom Huddlestone’s lead and react positively to being dropped.

Hull City's Curtis Davies. Picture: Tony Johnson.

The defender, the Tigers’ player of the year in 2013-14, was the notable absentee from the midweek draw at Everton after a string of below-par performances.

It brought to an end Davies’s run of 36 consecutive Premier League games for Hull and followed Huddlestone’s axing in the 3-0 defeat at Manchester United four days earlier.

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Huddlestone was back in the side at Goodison Park and back in decent form, leaving Bruce hopeful of a similar response from Davies.

He said: “I have been doing this a long time, 15 or so years, and when you make a decision to leave out your captain, it is difficult.

“The reason why he is your captain is because of what he has done for you, and how he is as a man and as a player.

“Unfortunately for Curtis, the harder he has been trying, the mistakes seem to have followed. Sometimes, it does you the world of good to come out and see the wood from the trees.

“Hopefully, a bit like Tom (Huddlestone), a break will let him have a look. Curtis will be back.

“He was exceptional last year and he has been going through a tough time. But he will be okay.”

Mohamed Diame is to be assessed by Hull’s medical staff after a recurrence of a knee problem forced the midfielder out of the action at Goodison Park.

The 27-year-old Senegal international had missed last month’s home defeat against Tottenham Hotspur with the same problem, but returned against Manchester United last Saturday.

Bruce added: “He has got one of those horrible tendonitis ones where a whack on it takes him back to square one. We will have to take a look at that.

“For me, from the first minute of the second half he didn’t look right.”

New month, new optimism for Elmohamady: Page 22.