Steve Bruce: Mario Balotelli is "a maverick"

Hull City manager Steve Bruce labels Mario Balotelli a "maverick" and questions whether Liverpool are doing the right things to get the best out of the player.

Hull City manager Steve Bruce has continued to defend Liverpool's misfiring forward Mario Balotelli by describing the Italian as "a maverick" character.

The former AC Milan and Manchester City striker missed a late chance for Liverpool yesterday as they were held to a goalless draw by Hull, and has only scored one goal since joining for £16m in the summer.

However, the Tigers boss believes that Liverpool simply need to figure out a way to get the best out him.

"He's not everyone's cup of tea but he's a character – a maverick," Bruce is quoted as saying by The Mirror. "When you sign a maverick, you need to treat them like one and get the best out of them somehow.

"I saw him two months ago against Spurs and he was terrific. He ripped them to bits.

"And he's going through a bit of a sticky patch right now. But he's a talent – I thought he was Liverpool's best player today."

Bruce has previously claimed that criticism of Balotelli amid Liverpool's indifferent recent form has been unfair.

Liverpool's Italian forward Mario Balotelli is pictured during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Hull City at the Anfield stadium in Liverpool, northwest England, on October 25, 2014
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City23202167175062
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd23155348163250
3Liverpool23138254282647
4Chelsea23145441162547
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs23135546212544
6Arsenal23116641301139
7Burnley239771920-134
8Leicester CityLeicester238783432231
9Everton2376102538-1327
10Watford2375113342-926
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham2367102941-1225
12Crystal Palace2367102133-1225
13Bournemouth2366112435-1124
14Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2366111939-2024
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2365122131-1023
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2358101729-1223
17Southampton2349102334-1121
18Stoke CityStoke2355132350-2720
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom23310101830-1219
20Swansea CitySwansea2345141435-2117
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