Hull City: Steve Bruce defends players after FA charge

Alex Bruce
Referee Jon Moss booked Alex Bruce for his tackle on Riyad Mahrez

Hull City boss Steve Bruce has defended his players against charges of referee intimidation and accused Leicester City's Riyad Mahrez of trying to get his son Alex sent off.

Bruce junior was booked for a challenge on the Algerian in the goalless draw with Leicester last weekend.

"My players were [reacting to] the injustice of the referee," said Bruce.

"I've got respect for Mahrez, but the way he rolled around - he was blatantly trying to get someone sent off."

Hull have until 18:00 GMT on Monday to respond to a Football Association charge of failing to control their players over the incident.

Bruce said: "We surrounded the referee because it was a perfectly fair challenge. We will vigorously defend it."

Last week, FA chairman Greg Dyke expressed his concern at the "scary" increase in incidents of players surrounding referees.

Hull's charge is the 17th such sanction in England's top five divisions this season. The comparable figure at this stage last season was six.

Bruce was speaking before Sunday's Premier League encounter with Chelsea at the KC Stadium.

Striker Nikica Jelavic is ruled out after knee surgery, while Tom Huddlestone is suspended after his dismissal against Leicester.