Monday, 5 October 2009


At Hull v Wigan on Saturday when I was sorry for Wigan, losing 2-1, but very pleased for the Hull boss Phil Brown.

I rate Phil as a good guy and a good coach. OK, he may have overplayed his hand once or twice last season, but he has shown his ability to assemble decent football teams. As luck would have it, I have been assigned to cover the last three of Hull's Premier League games, and Phil's response to defeats in the first two was excellent - changing the training routine, working on the mindset of the dressing room, and shaking up team and tactics to very good effect. Saturday saw Nick Barmby, a Hull lad, recalled to the team and made captain and that seemed to inspire players and crowd alike. The selection of Kevin Kilbane in the problem position of centre-back was unexpected but worked very well.

A few years ago, when they were at Bolton, Phil and Sam Allardyce ran a memorable day for the media. We were all invited to become a Bolton Player for the Day, and put through various fitness exercises which the players go through. These included tai chi, sprinting (!) endurance (!!) and tactical defending. It was great fun and the trouble that Sam and Phil took over giving us that insight into the professional world has stuck with me, even after the strains and humilation of the sprinting exercise wore off.

I hope Phil continues to guide Hull safely up the table.

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