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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