George Boyd's my best buy, says Hull City boss Steve Bruce
HULL City manager Steve Bruce says George Boyd has already proved his worth to the Tigers as he prepares to face the club that snubbed him this afternoon.
Nottingham Forest pulled the plug on signing Boyd at the 11th hour in the January transfer window, saying the 27-year-old had failed an eye test.
That opened the door for City to step in and sign the Peterborough forward on loan until the end of the season, with a two-year deal also agreed for the summer.
Boyd has gone on to sparkle for the Tigers with a two-goal home debut against Birmingham, and a subsequent call-up to the Scotland national squad.
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And, preparing to face in-form Forest today, Bruce says he is delighted to have him as part of his side, rather than be facing him.
"Sometimes it's what happens in football, with our deal for DJ Campbell not going through, and George's deal not happening at Forest, it opened the door and George has not let me down in that respect, he has been terrific," Bruce said.
"For the amount of money we paid for him, he has arguably been the best couple of hundred grand I have ever spent, and I have only worked with him two weeks.
"He has been just as I thought he would be. He is one of those players people have looked at as he has been a practical player, not a superstar, for Peterborough. He's one of them where we have all looked at him and wondered.
"Then, once you get him and you start working with him, you see he can play in a number of positions, he runs, he has a great attitude and he is first in to training.
"He has had a wonderful first few weeks. He is down to earth and a really good professional, well grounded and, as I said, probably the best couple of hundred thousand I've ever spent."
Boyd's route to the Tigers makes for an especially intriguing encounter today, and one which will ensure the eyes of both sets of supporters will be firmly on him.
And Bruce admits he is at a loss to understand why Forest – who soon after parted company with manager Alex McLeish – failed to complete Boyd's transfer.
"Whoever tested his eyes and failed him maybe needs their own eyes testing," Bruce joked.
"I remember ringing Barry Fry at Peterborough at about 11pm after our move for Campbell had collapsed.
"He is a different player to Campbell I know, but I have always been intrigued by him and I knew he could play off the front.
"The other night at Burnley I played him just off the front and he did nearly 15k in the game, so I'm not bothered about his eyes when he can run 15k, which is remarkable.
"As I say, he is probably one of the best value signings I have made."