'Home truths' help Hull into final
1:50pm Monday 14th April 2014 in © Press Association 2014
Curtis Davies has revealed how a few "home truths" delivered to his Hull team-mates spurred them on to secure a first-ever FA Cup final place.
The Tigers trailed 2-1 to their Sky Bet League One opponents Sheffield United in Sunday's semi-final at Wembley, and manager Steve Bruce was quick to give credit to his captain Davies for the turnaround in fortunes as Hull went on to win 5-3.
Bruce said: "'I didn't say much at half-time. My captain did it all.
''It's a long time since I've been in a dressing room where the captain takes over. It used to happen a lot in my day. I just had a cup of tea and let him get on with it. He is a bit of a dying breed with the way football is nowadays.''
Davies has been an instrumental performer for Hull since his summer arrival from Birmingham, a £2.25million deal that already looks a snip, and his leadership qualities were clearly evident on Sunday.
He said: "We came in at half-time and told a few home truths. A few people had their cages rattled.
"Between us all we'd probably said enough before the manager started his team talk, so he only had a little to say. He just said 'you might not get another chance at this. Don't throw it away'."
Now Davies believes his side can exploit Arsenal's "nervous energy" when they meet in the final next month.
The teams must first meet in the league on Sunday, but Davies feels the nature of the cup final will add an extra element of difficulty for Arsene Wenger's men.
The Gunners have not won any major silverware since 2005, when Wenger's men lifted the FA Cup at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium, and that drought is sure to play on some minds when they step out at headquarters.
"Obviously Arsenal are a massive side and it's going to be a tough, tough game but we know they haven't won anything for nine years," said Davies.
"They'll be chomping at the bit to win it so hopefully we can play on that nervous energy they'll have on the day and cause an upset.
"Arsenal are still a quality side so nervous energy or not they have the players to win the football match, but it's down to us to do things right when they are having a bit of trouble."
Hull trailed twice in the first period, Jose Baxter and Stefan Scougall scoring eithe r side of Yannick Sagbo's equalising effort.
But substitutes Matty Fryatt and Stephen Quinn both netted within minutes of coming off the Hull bench and Tom Huddlestone scored the pick of the bunch with a wonderful run and finish.
Jamie Murphy and David Meyler then traded late goals to give the fans full value for their trip to the capital.
For Quinn it was a bittersweet moment.
The Republic of Ireland international's deft header was his first goal of the season, but there was no question of him celebrating against United, the club where he started his professional career.
"The question was posed during the week, would I celebrate, and I said 'no'. I've got too much respect for the club," he said.
"They helped me as a player and looked after me and my family for a number of years. But it just had to happen, didn't it? It was written in the stars.
"I had some mixed emotions but I was really happy to score a goal at Wembley and get the team to the final."