sport

Davies hails Hull reaction

Curtis Davies has expressed his delight after Hull City responded to his half-time speech to see off Sheffield United in the FA Cup semi-finals.

The Tigers were 2-1 down to the League One side at the interval and were struggling to get a foothold on the game.

They went on to win the game 5-3 at Wembley, as goals from Matty Fryatt, Tom Huddlestone, Stephen Quinn and David Meyler ensured their place in the final against Arsenal.

Steve Bruce revealed after the final whistle that Davies had given a rousing half-time team-talk, and the Hull captain says he felt he had no option but to express his thoughts.

"I told the players we weren't playing good enough and we needed to up it," he said in the Hull Daily Mail.

"We were playing a League One side and they were out-playing us. It is one thing to be out-muscled and maybe they work a bit harder, but we were being out-played by them and that was embarrassing.

No shrinking violets

"I wasn't happy with the way we weren't keeping the ball and we were doing silly things with it. The goals we conceded were sloppy.

"It was two balls into the box, not great balls and they got on the end of both of them. It was sloppy. I told them we needed to up it because I didn't want to go home upset.

"I'm just glad what I said got the right reaction and we didn't have shrinking violets with people hiding.

"I'm usually the type to put my arm round people and encourage their abilities but I couldn't do that because it was just poor.

"There were a few nerves in the first 15 minutes but by the time the goals came they should have gone."

While Bruce was full of credit for Davies after the match, the defender also believes that the Hull boss deserves a great deal of credit for turning the tie around.

He said: "Our quality should have shone, but it didn't until we made the tactical change and went up front with two. Aluko came on and caused them all sorts of problems.

"The gaffer needs credit because it takes a bold manager to admit he has made a mistake.

"He said to us at half-time he was holding his hands up and said he shouldn't have played that formation. He changed it at half-time and we got an instant reward from Matty Fryatt. Fair play to the gaffer."

Occasion

Davies is now confident that Hull will produce an improved performance against Arsenal in next month's final and could lift the trophy.

"The biggest thing for us with this game is we have got the occasion out of the way," he said.

"When we come back here on May 17 it will all be about winning a game of football and lifting a trophy.

"It won't be about Wembley, getting your family there, sorting tickets for people, it will be about winning a game of football and then I will be in a position to lift a trophy for this club.

"We have been the favourites all the way through, but in the final that won't be the case. I was with Birmingham when they upset Arsenal in the cup final a few years back and hopefully we can emulate that success."