Bruce defends Tigers swarm

Published: Friday 20th March 2015 by The News Editor

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Hull boss Steve Bruce has accused Leicester’s Riyad Mahrez of faking injury and insists his club will “vigorously defend” a Football Association charge arising from last weekend’s goalless draw at the King Power Stadium.

The Tigers were charged with failing to control their players following a 68th-minute incident in which they surrounded referee Jonathan Moss after Alex Bruce was booked for his challenge on the Foxes winger.

But ahead of Sunday’s Barclays Premier League clash with Chelsea – who were also accused of badgering the referee during their UEFA Champions League match at home to Paris St Germain recently – Bruce says Mahrez’s alleged offence is more serious.

Bruce said: “I’ve got the highest respect for Mahrez but the way he rolled around the pitch is something which for me we’ve got to stamp out because I think that’s what incenses all of us.

“The frustration was that he was blatantly trying to get somebody sent off. We surrounded the referee because it was a perfectly fair challenge and we will vigorously defend it.

“I’m not saying the reaction of the players (was right), but there was an injustice and the one thing we have to stamp out more than anything is players rolling around faking injuries.”

Tom Huddlestone’s sending-off in the same fixture means the former Tottenham man will be suspended for the visit of Jose Mourinho’s men while Nikica Jelavic is facing at least six weeks on the sidelines following knee surgery.

And Bruce believes Chelsea’s exit from continental competition could count against the Tigers as they look to boost their survival chances by claiming more valuable points against the biggest teams in the division.

Bruce added: “Jose has focused his attention straight back on the Premier League. The one thing (the exit) has done for them is refocus them because they haven’t got that distraction and they are near-on certainties to go on and win the league.

“Chelsea are the team everybody is trying to beat. You can’t see them, five points clear and with a game in hand, blowing the situation. But we need a result ourselves because we’ve got some tough games ahead.”

Meanwhile Bruce revealed he had spoken briefly with Paul Ince over son Tom’s decision this week to no longer make himself available for the England Under-21s.

Ince, currently on loan at Derby, played in all of the Under-21s’ successful European Championship qualifying campaign but informed boss Gareth Southgate this week he did not wish to be considered for the squad.

Bruce said: “I had a quick word with his father at Derby this week and it has been their decision, but whatever decision they take of course we will back.

“I haven’t really spoken to Tom himself about it, but I will go and speak to him and see what his ideas are. He has had a long, tough season playing with various clubs.”

Published: Friday 20th March 2015 by The News Editor

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