Door remains open at Hull City for Cameron Stewart return
STEVE Bruce will leave the door open for Cameron Stewart to return to Hull City in January and hopes a loan move to Burnley can rebuild the winger's lost confidence.
Stewart was the high-profile casualty of Bruce's squad strengthening ahead of the transfer deadline when he was unexpectedly allowed to join the Clarets on a four-month loan deal last Friday.
The capture of Ahmed Elmohamady and Stephen Quinn quickly pushed Stewart down the pecking order last week and within three days of starting the Tigers' League Cup exit at Doncaster, the winger was sent to Turf Moor.
It is a dramatic fall from grace for the 21-year-old at the KC Stadium after the Tigers rejected two seven-figure bids from Leicester City in January, but Bruce says he will monitor Stewart's progress with interest in the coming months.
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The former Manchester United rookie made his Burnley debut in their 3-1 defeat to Brighton on Saturday and Bruce hopes regular football will be mutually beneficial.
"There's no writing on the wall for him here, far from it," Bruce told the Mail.
"It's something we'll address in January. I hope he goes to Burnley and rips it up, I really do, but he just needs to play.
"Cameron's recovered from his cruciate ligament injury (suffered in February 2011) but he still needs that confidence back. You can only get that by playing games.
"Having come back from a serious knee injury in the last year, he just needs to keep playing games.
"His chances of featuring here were obviously reduced when we signed Elmohamady and Quinn, who can both play in wide areas, but it enables him to go out and play football."
Asked if there was any option in his loan for Burnley to make the move permanent in January, Bruce added: "Not at the moment, no. I just think Cameron needed to play and I couldn't guarantee him that here."
The changing face of the Tigers was accentuated in Saturday's 3-1 victory over Bolton at the KC Stadium.
Six of Bruce's eight signings, including debutants Elmohamady and Quinn, were included in City's starting XI, as well as the once forgotten pair of Seyi Olofinjana and Jay Simpson.
The closure of the transfer window on Friday will now limit Bruce's recruitment to loan deals and free agents until the New Year and it is an option he will consider ahead of City's next game with Millwall on September 15.
However, the Tigers boss has been pleased with the support of the City board since his appointment in June and believes his new arrivals underline the club's ambition.
Bruce added: "I think we've got to be reasonably content. We've been sensible.
"We've used the loan market well, we've used the Bosman market well and spent a bit of money too. All credit to the owners. Before I took over here there was a bit of doom and gloom around the place that it was about to implode.
"Fair play to them. They persuaded me with their powers and then they've gone and backed me. It's nice when you see it bearing fruits like it did on Saturday."