Hull manager Steve Bruce was full of praise for the battling performance of captain Curtis Davies in the 0-0 draw with Aston Villa.
The centre-back got the better of Villa striker Libor Kozak in a bruising encounter that left him requiring stitches in a cut above a swollen eye after the pair clashed in the air.
Davies also managed to keep Gabriel Agbonlahor in check to earn the man-of-the-match plaudits and the respect of his manager.
"Sometimes a centre-back doesn't get the recognition he deserves, but he really was a proper captain in this match. He was terrific," said Bruce.
"He has a horrible, horrible cut now, a really nasty one. It's a cut over the eye but a bad one which is down to the bone. It might need internal stitches too.
"But he put in a fantastic performance and helped us get a clean sheet. I thought he was by far the most outstanding player on the pitch.
"He hasn't surprised me. For me to pay £2.25m is a lot of money.
"I've still got big connections at Birmingham and he's been their player of the year for the last two seasons, which is not easy to do for a centre-back."