Premier League - Bruce keeps his focus on the pitch

Hull manager Steve Bruce has called on fans to focus on the team rather than off-field grievances when high-flying Liverpool visit the KC Stadium on Sunday.

PA Sport
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Steve Bruce (PA Photos)

The club's return to the Barclays Premier League has been overshadowed at times by a row over owner Assem Allam's plans to change the historical name of Hull City AFC to Hull Tigers, with many supporters up in arms at the proposal.

A meeting between Allam and a series of supporters' groups earlier this month only served to inflame the matter, with the Egyptian businessman seemingly set on the unpopular rebranding exercise.

There were protests both inside and outside the KC Stadium during last weekend's 1-0 defeat to Crystal Palace, with one battle between fans and stewards over a large banner in the East Stand detracting attention from the match itself.

And Bruce, who has attempted to avoid controversy where possible, would prefer all eyes to be on his team's attempts to upset the Reds this weekend.

"I know there's some issues about badges and names but it's Liverpool at home, a game we've been waiting for," he said.

"Since I've walked through the door the supporters have been nothing but fantastic towards how the team tries to play.

"Let's all enjoy the occasion and the supporters can play their part.

"When they're behind the team, it gives us a helping hand.

"It's going to be difficult but if they play their part and forget about banners for now, let's make sure we get points instead of badges and banners. I'm sure they're all with me on that."

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