Bruce’s boys Abel to improve
HULL manager Steve Bruce has called on some of his players to start playing to their potential sooner rather than later after a last-gasp Jordan Rhodes goal deprived them of two valuable points.
Hull had looked on course to take all three points after Abel Hernandez gave them the lead in the second half but Rhodes snatched an equaliser in stoppage time.
Bruce admitted it had been a dull game until his side took the lead after he changed things and brought on Shaun Maloney and Jake Livermore – the latter making his first league appearance since May after testing positive for cocaine.
He said: “Too many are not playing well enough to what we know they are capable of.
“We urgently need players to start performing the way we know they can. It has been a difficult transfer window with not knowing who was staying and who was going. For me for the first 50 minutes of the match it was like watching paint dry. You’ve got to compliment Blackburn on the way they came and played with one up front.
“We went long too early and we played too much hopeful stuff up to the strikers.
“It wasn’t until we added Maloney and Livermore that we added that bit of quality the game needed.
“We’ve conceded from a corner, which we did last week. It’s what football is and the difficult one is two giants of centre backs who my centre backs have to pick up and we’re left with a full-back picking him (Rhodes) up.
“I don’t think we deserved to lose it but we will get better. We will perform better.”
Bruce did, however, save some praise for striker Hernandez who made it four goals in six appearances when he side-footed in a low centre from Ahmed Elmohamady.
He also revealed that Livermore, who also played an hour in the 1-0 Capital One Cup win over Swansea in midweek, would figure more prominently in the Championship campaign.
“You can see Hernandez is getting a little bit of confidence which he needs,” he said.
“We have got to get somebody playing with him. I’m pleased for him, he’s got four in six.
“Livermore has played 90 minutes. He will train all week and get ready for Nottingham Forest.”
Blackburn manager Gary Bowyer, meawhile, praised his side’s battling qualities and also the predatory instincts of striker Rhodes.
However, the Blackburn boss was disappointed with referee Andy Haines.
He felt the official should have penalised Hull defender Curtis Davies just before the home side took the lead.
Bowyer said: “It was no more than we deserved. We came to a strong Premiership outfit and took the game to them.
“We have always got that belief and confidence we can create a chance. Jordan has got the opportunity. He has done brilliant for the goal.”
Bowyer insisted the referee should have even given Davies a red card as Hull broke out to claim the game’s opening goal.
“He has got to send Curtis Davies off and he didn’t fancy doing that in front of 16,000 fans,” added the Rovers boss.
“It is a foul all day long. To go down the other end of the pitch and to concede a goal is a hammer blow for us.”