Cameron Stewart 'knuckling down' to revive Hull City career
STEVE Bruce has been impressed by the application of Cameron Stewart as the forgotten winger attempts to plot a course back from the Hull City wilderness.
Stewart, without a league start for the Tigers since the opening weekend of the Championship season, has endured a miserable campaign to date.
After a loan move to Burnley turned sour before the turn of the year, he returned to the KC Stadium in January to meet stinging public criticism from Bruce over his poor fitness levels.
Stewart's fall from grace leaves him currently aiming to impress from the reserve team and he took that opportunity with a goal in City's 4-1 win at Grimsby Town on Wednesday.
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The 21-year-old's form has been noted by Bruce and the City boss has left the door open for the final 12 games.
"He's got no end of talent, but talent's not enough if you've not got the right physicality about you," Bruce told the Mail.
"The kid is working hard, no doubt about it. In fact, he's probably worked harder in the last three or four weeks as he has in his career.
"He realises that he's got to get his career back on track and he's only going to do that one way, by grinding it out and waiting for a break.
"I hope that's sunk in over the last month. You can't live their lives for them and he knew he let himself go.
"I hope he knuckles down and everything I've seen in the last few weeks suggests that's what he's ready to do."
Stewart will have a challenge just to make the subs' bench for tomorrow's clash with Birmingham City at the KC Stadium.
Besides long-term absentees Matty Fryatt, Sone Aluko and Joe Dudgeon, Bruce has a fully-fit squad to select from following the return of Abdoulaye Faye and Paul McShane to full training yesterday.
The pair have suffered from calf and hamstring strains respectively in the last month and Bruce hinted he may stick to the three-man defence of James Chester, Jack Hobbs and son Alex.
He added: "Paul and Abdoulaye have both trained for the first time since their injuries.
"For Abdoulaye it's been over three weeks and for Paul it's been 10 or 11 days out so we'll see if there's a reaction.
"They've both got muscle injuries and it's one day back in training.
"Ideally you'd want to give them a week or so, so we'll just have to see how they are ahead of the game. I'd think they'll be available for the bench if needed."