Hull City's Cameron Stewart challenged to prove his worth on return to KC
HULL City's forgotten figure Cameron Stewart will be challenged to turn his fortunes around when he returns from an ill-fated loan spell with Burnley in January.
Stewart has endured a dramatic fall from grace in the last 12 months and will arrive at a crossroads in his once dazzling career when heading back to the Tigers in the new year.
After becoming surplus to short-term requirements with the Tigers in August, a four-month loan spell with Championship rivals Burnley has fallen desperately short of expectations.
With Eddie Howe replaced by Sean Dyche as manager at Turf Moor, Stewart has not featured in a competitive fixture since October 27 and is without a start since September 19.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
Burnley's last two fixtures have failed to even see the winger named amongst the substitutes.
A lack of opportunities in East Lancashire will see Stewart returned to City in the coming weeks and manager Steve Bruce says the onus will be on the youngster to arrest the slide.
"Looking at the way things are, he's probably going to come back to us in January and we'll see where things go," Bruce told the Mail.
"It's been disappointing for all parties. He went out to play games with Burnley and that's just not happened for him.
"That's been a big disappointment for him but the challenge has to be to get his head down, work hard, and turn his luck around. It's a big time coming up for him."
In a calendar year that began with City rejecting a £1.5m offer from Leicester for the winger's services following a successful return from cruciate ligament surgery, Stewart's stock has tumbled into an alarming tailspin during 2012.
Although called up by England under-21s for the first time in February, a lack of form was clear as the Tigers fell short of the Championship play-offs last season.
A fresh start was promised this season and looked on the cards when he started the opening two games of Bruce's reign against Rotherham and Brighton.
However, the arrival of Sone Aluko, Ahmed Elmohamady and Stephen Quinn convinced Bruce to farm Stewart out on loan.
Just two starts for the Clarets have wrecked any hope of regular action and he heads back across the Pennines in need of a break.
Eighteen months remain on his City contract and given the strength of Bruce's options at present, another loan move could be favoured in January.
"There's no doubting he's got ability but he's got to find a level where he's playing week in, week out," added Bruce.
"It shows you how difficult it can be to be a footballer when you're a young lad.
"Twelve months ago the club was turning down big money for him. Now he's coming back from a loan without really playing. The lad needs games. He's young and had to fight back from a very serious injury."