(Reuters) - England would be hard-pushed to find a better manager than Steve Bruce, according to Hull City captain Curtis Davies, who believes his former boss would be the ideal candidate to replace Sam Allardyce.
Bruce, who led Hull to promotion through the second tier playoffs last season, is widely reported to be on the Football Association’s shortlist for the England job after Allardyce’s 67-day reign ended on Tuesday.
Bruce, who resigned from Hull three weeks before the new Premier League season, was interviewed for the England job before Allardyce’s appointment and Davies believes the FA should now offer the former Manchester United defender the job.
“I think Steve Bruce is a good candidate if they’re going for someone like Sam Allardyce in the sense that he has done his rounds -- an experienced manger who knows the English game inside out,” Davies told Reuters.
“There are obviously lots of potential candidates out there but I don’t think there will be many who are better than Steve Bruce.”
Bruce’s resignation in late July plunged Hull into crisis and resulted in his former assistant Mike Phelan taking over as caretaker manager.
Despite inheriting a squad severely depleted by injuries, Phelan led the club to successive victories at the start of the season. He was offered a permanent deal, but his future still remains unclear.
Davies said he hopes to see the caretaker boss formally installed in the coming weeks.
“Earlier in the season it was more of a big deal because no one knew what was going on. Since then it has become apparent that the club do want Mike to be the manager,” he said.
“We know Mike wants to stay so we’re just hoping it gets done sooner rather than later so we can look forward and enjoy it. We’re playing as if he’s our permanent manager, that’s how we see it. Unless something drastic happens over the next couple of weeks I am sure he will be.”
Hull face Chelsea at the KC Stadium on Saturday and Davies likened Antonio Conte’s side to a “wounded animal” after they lost successive league games to Liverpool and Arsenal.
“If we start well we can put them on the back foot a little bit and we might be able to give them a shock,” said Davies, whose side also suffered successive bruising defeats to Arsenal then Liverpool.
“Chelsea are like a wounded animal now. We will make sure we’re ready for whatever they throw at us because they know we’ve also had some poor results and they’ll maybe see us as a chance to get their confidence back.”
Chelsea striker Diego Costa has bullied his Premier League opponents this season, scoring five goals in six games, but his notoriously fiery temperament has threatened to boil over on some occasions.
Davies, however, said he will not be trying to bait the menacing forward on Saturday.
“Some players try to wind him (Costa) up a bit so he looses his head rather just playing football but that’s not my game really,” Davies said.
“Hopefully I can frustrate him by him not having much service, not being able to get on the ball and not being able to get the better of me, then he might lose his head...
“Sometimes if you try to wind Costa up it brings out the best in him so I’d rather he gets frustrated because I am doing well than wind him up and have him turn into the machine that wants to score two, three or four passed you.”
Editing by Toby Davis and Pritha Sarkar