Bruce begs fans for backing

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Steve Bruce has appealed to Hull fans to get behind their side against West Ham on Monday night and forget about protesting against owner Assem Allam.
Sections of the club’s support have been at loggerheads with the Egyptian businessman since last year’s controversial proposal to rebrand the team Hull Tigers and ditch their 110-year-old moniker Hull City AFC.
That was eventually dismissed by the Football Association Council in April, though the chanting, banner-waving and mutual antipathy continued.
Tensions did at least simmer down from their peak in November, when a televised home match against Crystal Palace saw clashes between fans eager to make register their objections in front of a global television audience and embattled stewards.
“My appeal to all of the fans is that they can have their thoughts but once it gets to matchday, we need them to get behind the team,” City manager Bruce said.
“We need them to do that because if it becomes fractious then it becomes difficult.
“When it becomes difficult then it can affect the team. That is why I appeal to the fans.
“We don’t want any protests – even though I know nothing’s changed on their behalf with the name-change issue.
“We want the supporters to get behind the team, that’s my concern, and I’m sure they will.
“The protests hit their peak against Crystal Palace last season, and it seemed to wane after that. We lost that game and we should have won if I remember.
“We need all the supporters, if they can, to support the team. Of course they can keep their opinions – but not on a match day because that just harms everybody.”
Bruce has spent more time than he would care to recall fending off questions on the stand-off between Allam and protest groups and even likened the argument to a certain political struggle taking place north of the border.
“There is a huge debate in Scotland right now but it pales into insignificance when it comes to Hull,” he joked.

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