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Trio of Tigers ready to roar

KEY MEN: (left to right): Jake Livermore, Tom Huddlestone and Curtis Davies

HULL CITY deserved their opening day 1-0 win away to Queens Park Rangers, and none more so than their English triumvirate of Jake Livermore, Curtis Davies and Tom Huddlestone. All three joined the club on their return to the Premier League last year.

The trio players have been central to the Tigers’ strengths in an impressive first season back in the top flight as they all played over 30 games last season.

Their consistency has given Steve Bruce the opportunity to build a team around them as they look to push on from their first FA Cup final, which ended in defeat during extra-time at the hands of Arsenal.

The stature the former Tottenham men - Huddlestone and Livermore - allows Bruce's preferred three at-the-back to concentrate on their roles, all the while knowing there is support when the opposition is attacking.

It is a testament to not only the players, but to their manager who has given them the confidence to show their undoubted talent.

The way the two midfielders play together is reminiscent of Patrick Vieira and Emmanuel Petit in Arsenal's former glory days.

Huddlestone breaks up play after learning to channel his physique into making the necessary tackles, and Livermore helps create their goals.

The latter's four assists were the highest in the team last season, while he's also responsible for the majority of their key passes.

In the centre of city’s defence, team captain Davies has commanded his back line with nearly nine clearances per game last season.

So it was no surprise to see the extremely underrated centre-back voted the player of the year at the club's awards ceremony.

The 29-year-old must take great credit for the fact that his side conceded just three more goals than second-placed Liverpool last term.

He was the top English defender last season and fifth overall, with his nearest compatriot being Kyle Walker who was 20th and only missed out on the World Cup due to a recurring injury. Manchester United’s Phil Jones, who did go to Brazil, came in 23rd.

Many will feel it is too late for Davies to force his way into the England set-up but under the coaching of Bruce, a manager who defended with his head and his heart, you wouldn't bet against it.

With the Tigers making their continental debut in this season's Europa League, the trio will need to thrive with the added pressure of midweek games and travel.

It will be a new experience for all involved, but one everyone at the club should relish if they are going to prosper.

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