Hull City vs West Ham United - British players overpriced - Bruce

Posted Sunday, September 14, 2014 by PA

Hull manager Steve Bruce believes it is "madness" that Uruguay international Abel Hernandez cost him less than the going rate for a top Sky Bet Championship striker.

Bruce has carefully built his Tigers side around a British and Irish core and, even when shopping for overseas talent, he has favoured the likes of Nikica Jelavic, Hatem Ben Arfa and Mohamed Diame, who all have considerable experience of English football.

But when Shane Long was sold to Southampton in a shock move this summer, he found himself priced out of locally-sourced replacements.

Blackburn's Scotland international Jordan Rhodes was his preferred option but Rovers turned down two bids and were believed to be holding out for around B£15million.

Instead of meeting that, he shelled out around B#9.5million to bring Hernandez from Palermo - still a club record fee but one he considered a relative bargain.

"We went for a centre-forward, Jordan Rhodes, and B£10million wasn't enough. After that where could we go and get an English or British centre-forward? It was quite sad really," said Bruce.

"I will always look to the English and British market first but on value for money let's be fair, with no disrespect to Jordan Rhodes, we've got a Uruguay centre-forward for the same price or cheaper, less than Ross McCormack (who cost Fulham B£11million).

"We now have to be better in the foreign market because unfortunately we just can't get the ones in England. They are just too expensive.

"It's madness. But we have got good value for money.

"Uruguay are ranked sixth in the world and he's behind Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez for them, which is quite remarkable."

Bruce would love to blood his new arrival against West Ham on Monday, but has seen precious little of him since the deal was done on deadline day.

International week has taken the 24-year-old to Japan and South Korea and as of Friday he was back in Italy attempting to finalise his work permit documentation.

That makes him a big doubt to face the Hammers but when he does get going, Bruce is hopeful Hernandez can adapt to the Premier League as well as his compatriot, Suarez.

"You don't play for Uruguay if you haven't got terrific ability but the question is can you adapt to the pace of it? We have seen really great players from abroad struggle," he added.

"But he has all the tools. He's a player who wants to go in behind, he's a wonderful finisher, he's quick, he's got a bit of flair, he's just an all-round good player."

Encouraged to compare his new arrival with Suarez a second time, Bruce ended on a joke.

"He will certainly add a bit of bite, there's your quote!" he said.

Sam Allardyce is to consider introducing a psychologist at West Ham in an attempt to eradicate any "cockiness" from his players.

After he saw his side let a lead slip in defeat to Southampton before the international break, Allardyce claimed a few needed to have their "backsides kicked" for a failure of communication on the pitch.

The 59-year-old revealed he has made his feelings known to the players and believes they may have suffered from over-confidence against Southampton after a strong showing to win 3-1 at Crystal Palace the previous weekend.

"The expectation after that (Palace) game was high and we just didn't live up to it," he said.

"Maybe the players were a bit too cocky. Maybe they had listened to the praise too much. The outside world is not what you should listen to if you want to be successful as a footballer.

"You can be distracted if you get too much praise and perhaps a little put off if you get criticism. They just need to stay focused on their responsibilities."

New signing Alex Song could make his Hammers debut as Allardyce looks to return to winning ways at Hull, with the Barcelona man seen as an ideal man to bring out more from players on the pitch.

"Other players look up to a player like him," Allardyce said.

"They will all get lifted by a player like him who has played consistently at the top level. That is the type of reaction we are looking for from a player like him.

"He is a world class player and just by their attitude it shows the other players what they have to try and achieve. The one thing about Alex is he just wants to play football. Playing for Barcelona is fantastic, but it's not fantastic when your not playing - it's just miserable."

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