Bruce hails 'proper captain' Davies after Hull City fightback

The Tigers trailed the League One side at the break after lacklustre first-half display, but showed their class in the second half to reach the FA Cup final for the first time
By Liam Twomey at Wembley

Steve Bruce paid tribute to a rousing half-time team talk from captain Curtis Davies after Hull City came from behind to beat Sheffield United in a pulsating FA Cup semi-final at Wembley.

The Tigers trailed the League One side at the break following a lacklustre first-half display, prompting Bruce to make two substitutions at the interval.

And his players responded with a performance of far greater urgency to blow Nigel Clough's men away in the second half and emerge 5-3 winners.

The result puts Hull into their first FA Cup final in the club's history, and Bruce insists it was Davies, not him, who gave the rest of the players the tough love which inspired their stirring comeback.

"I didn't say much, the captain did it all," Bruce told reporters after the match. "It's a long time since I've been in the dressing room and the captain takes over. It used to happen a lot in my day.

"I just had a cup of tea and let him get on with it. We made a couple of tactical changes but in terms of the bollockings, it was the captain. He’s a dying breed and a proper captain.

"I have to take responsibility for the first half. We've been playing two strikers all year and we're better equipped to play with two strikers and playing off the front. We had to change.

"We had to do something. We were awful in the first half. I have to say well done to Sheffield United though, because they were terrific and handled it better than we did in the first half. All credit to them."

Sheffield United manager Nigel Clough admitted he was disappointed with the goals his team conceded, but insisted his players should be proud of their performance.

"We're certainly proud and that feeling will grow in the weeks ahead when we look back on what we've achieved in the FA Cup," he said. "At half-time I thought we were well worthy of our lead.

"We played well in the first half and then they changed it. Their second goal was the killer blow for us.

"It got them totally going, they were rejuvenated and scored another one pretty quickly. We had to get that 10-15 minutes after half-time out of the way without conceding.

"We haven't conceded many goals like that in the last six months. But we can't ask any more of the players than what they did. They're two leagues above us and at times we matched them."