Davies: I'm willing to get ugly
Hull captain Curtis Davies is happy to follow the example set by his manager and do the dirty work if it means his side pull off a major upset and lift the FA Cup for the first time in their history at Wembley on Saturday.
Davies was just five years old when Bruce started his first FA Cup final against Crystal Palace, but grew up as a big Manchester United fan and came to emulate Bruce's uncompromising attitude to his craft.
And despite the plaudits heaped on the 29-year-old this season, Davies insists he will be content for his team-mates to go down as heroes so long as the Tigers can emulate Wigan's unexpected cup win last May.
Davies said: "I'd sooner our striker is man of the match for scoring a hat-trick than a defender for making last-ditch tackles every two minutes to keep us in the game."
Recalling his days watching Bruce and his central-defensive partner Gary Pallister during their Old Trafford era, Davies said: "I have lots of memories of Manchester United finals and I remember him playing and lifting the trophy as captain, and that's something I want to emulate.
"He was a hard man, the tough one and Pallister was meant to be the ball player as such.
"I probably have a mix of the two. I'm quite long and gangly like Pallister was, and I guess it was the quick one out of the two.
"But I can definitely do the dirty and ugly side of defending because if you've played in League One there's not a week goes by where you can get away without getting hurt, and luckily I got used to that early in my career.
"You can have ball-playing defenders who rarely put in a tackle, but clubs like ourselves need proper dogged defenders who can put their bodies on the line. That's the sort of player I am rather than the creative, unlocking player."
Davies has been the undoubted star of the Tigers' first season back in the top-flight and was widely credited with turning the semi-final against Sheffield United on its head with an impassioned half-time team-talk.
Such headline-grabbing interventions are a far cry from Davies' early career, having worked his way up through the lower leagues where he started with Luton, the club who gave him his first professional contract in 2003.
Two years later Davies helped the Hatters to the League One title - an achievement he will still regard as the proudest moment of his career until he leads his side out in the Wembley final.
Davies added: "If we win it, it will be the biggest achievement of my career without a doubt. Up to now, my best achievement was winning the League One title with Luton.
"I still believe that was a great achievement, but to win the FA Cup is the stuff of dreams.
"It might be a great day out but if you don't win it it means nothing to you. You just hope the walk up the steps is a happy one, especially with me being captain and potentially lifting the trophy.
"People keep saying the FA Cup's lost a bit of gloss but as an Englishman and a fan it's still the best competition.
"I always dreamed of lifting it for Man U back then, and if you'd told me I would get a chance to play in an FA Cup final I would have run around like a madman.
"The fact that it is now reality that I could lift the trophy is crazy."
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