FORM SLUMP IS

Midweek Sport - - SPORT -

FEEL­ING THE STRAIN: Hud­dle­stone is strug­gling to hit the heights that led to him play­ing in the FA Cup fi­nal and

sparked calls for an Eng­land re­call TOM HUD­DLE­STONE ad­mits he can no longer walk straight into the Hull side.

The mid­fielder was the Tigers’ star player last sea­son after sign­ing from Tot­ten­ham for £5mil­lion.

The 27-year-old was tipped for an Eng­land re­call after help­ing Hull reach their first FA Cup fi­nal as well as seal­ing their high­est-ever league fin­ish.

But Hud­dle­stone has failed to hit those heights in the first half of this sea­son.

And he started on the bench for the 1-0 de­feat at West Brom last time out after serv­ing a four-match ban.

Hud­dle­stone ac­cepts he is no longer the first name on boss Steve Bruce’s team sheet.

“The lads have played well in the games I was sus­pended for, so I’ve got no com­plaints,” said Hud­dle­stone.

“It’s go­ing to be tough to get back into the start­ing eleven.

“Things do change. Peo­ple come in and out of form, and that works both ways.

“A few of the lads who haven’t had much of a chance have come into the team and done well. They’re fully de­serv­ing of their place in the start­ing eleven.”

After earn­ing praise through­out last sea­son, Hud­dle­stone has had to cope with his fair share of stick dur­ing this cam­paign – es­pe­cially on Twit­ter.

Some cheeky tweet­ers ac­cused him of get­ting sent off de­lib­er­ately at Chelsea in De­cem­ber so he could have a break over Christ­mas.

Hud­dle­stone missed four fes­tive fix­tures, but in­sists he had no ex­tra time off.

He said: “I just try not to take them too closely to heart or per­son­ally.

“If you’re get­ting

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