Hull City: Alex Bruce is winning over critics, says dad Steve
STEVE Bruce believes son Alex has already begun to silence the sceptics that questioned the motives behind his summer switch to Hull City.
The Tigers boss left himself open to charges of nepotism when signing Alex on a free transfer in July, with the move triggering an inevitable sense of unease among a section of City supporters.
However, any dissenting voices on the terraces have been quelled by Alex's early performances for his new side and Steve Bruce believes the defender's form is stating a case for his inclusion.
Since being overlooked for City's first two games of the season, the 27-year-old has formed an impressive three-man central defensive unit alongside Abdoulaye Faye and James Chester for the last three Championship fixtures.
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A 3-1 win over Bolton last time out saw him produce his best display yet and his father is certain Alex will never be found wanting in a City shirt.
"I just hope supporters can judge him like they would any other player," Bruce told the Mail ahead of tomorrow's home clash with Millwall.
"That's what I've done bringing him here. I know he can handle the Championship.
"Quietly I think he's already won over one or two of the sceptics because, believe me, he will never let anyone down, ever. He's not that type.
"Like anyone, he'll make a mistake now and again, but he's played for six or seven years at this level and he's at his peak."
Bruce junior's move to the KC Stadium during the summer reunited the father and son team for the first time since working together at Birmingham six years ago.
A move to Ipswich in 2006 eventually saw the pair split, with Alex citing the pressures of playing for his Dad as a major reason behind his exit from St Andrews.
Spells with Ipswich and Leeds have since seen the defender gain experience in the Championship and, in the eyes of the Tigers' boss, City have taken on a fully-developed figure.
The Tigers' new-look defence will continue when hosting Millwall tomorrow and Steve Bruce believes his son is shouldering the burden admirably in his opening months under his guidance.
"Alex is enjoying the challenge of it and, let's be honest, it's a big challenge for him," added Bruce.
"Whether that's in the dressing room, in and around the town, it'll be a challenge.
"He'll always have that pressure of having to prove people wrong and in that way I feel sympathy for him.
"I know he's spoken with Stephen Clemence (City's reserve team boss, whose father Ray played for England) about how to deal with it.
"I think lads like them probably have more disadvantages than advantages. Alex has had it since he was a nine-year-old and since he was playing for his school team. Even then people would say he's only playing because of his Dad.
"But over the years he's proved himself at this level. He'll always be quite popular because he's competitive and he has a go. He's a decent footballer too so I hope he can keep improving here."