Wednesday 13 December 2017

Huddlestone relishes regular action

Tom Huddlestone is enjoying playing regular football
Tom Huddlestone is enjoying playing regular football

Tom Huddlestone is relishing the chance to play regular football after taking the difficult decision to leave Tottenham.

The 26-year-old midfielder played a key role in Hull's battling 3-2 Barclays Premier League victory at Newcastle on Saturday after swapping North London for Humberside during the summer.

It is a move which has given him a new lease of life after injuries and a lack of first-team opportunities at White Hart Lane.

Asked how much he was enjoying his football, he said: "Yes, just playing regularly in a team which believes in playing the right way and believing in myself.

"Hopefully things will continue to progress as they are.

"Everybody wants to play and anybody who has had long-term injuries like myself, you count your blessings once you are fit and you are training every day.

"But inevitably, you want to be playing at the weekend and if that's not the case for whatever reason, you need to do your best.

"Whether it's training a bit harder to get in the team, or if you have to move on like I have and try to prove myself elsewhere, then so be it."

The game did not begin in promising fashion for the Tigers as they fell behind at St James' Park with just 11 minutes played.

Striker Loic Remy headed past goalkeeper Allan McGregor from close range after Papiss Cisse had scuffed a volley across the face of goal.

But the lead lasted just 15 minutes and Hull were back in it when Robbie Brady ran on to Sone Aluko's pass and shot between Tim Krul's legs.

Remy restored the Magpies' advantage a minute before half-time after James Chester had blocked Yohan Cabaye's initial effort, but the visitors were back on terms once again three minutes into the second half courtesy of Ahmed Elmohamady's glancing header.

The best was saved until last when Aluko smashed home a 76th-minute volley from substitute George Boyd's pull-back to clinch the points.

Huddlestone said: "It was unbelievable. We have just talked about it there - I'm not sure if it's off his shin or knee or his boot, but as long as it hits the back of the net, that's the main thing.

"Obviously our main objective was to try to keep it tight early doors and not let the crowd affect the game.

"We didn't managed to do that, so it was an uphill battle, especially the first half.

"But we got ourselves back in contention and to score the equaliser early doors in the second half, that was probably one of the key moments in the game."

Aluko's decisive strike capped an fine individual display which left manager Steve Bruce, who spotted his talent as a teenager at Birmingham, purring.

Bruce said: "I had him as a kid. I gave him his debut - I put him in the first team squad at 16.

"But the big thing with Sone is physicality-wise, it's taken him a long time to get himself in a physical condition. He had to wait until he matured a little bit.

"But I always kept an eye on him in Scotland and when I was out of work, I remember seeing him playing for Rangers repeatedly and thought, 'It looks as if he's physically right now'.

"The big thing for him - Sone did his Achilles last year in the Championship - he's under the radar a bit.

"But for me, including [Wilfried] Zaha, he was the best player in the league last year up until Christmas.

"I hope he stays injury-free because you would pay money to watch him. He's a really, really good little footballer and a delight to work with too."

Press Association

Promoted Links

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport