Brown ready for tense run-in
Tigers boss predicts tight battle to avoid relegation
By Chris Harvey. Last Updated: March 5, 2009 8:20am
Get in: Phil Brown and players celebrate Manucho's winner
Phil Brown is expecting a "real squeaky bum affair" as his Hull City side battle to pull clear of the Premier League drop zone.
"Eleven and 12 clubs are going to be involved in a real squeaky bum affair from now until the end of the season - and we are one of them - but we have got a confidence boost at the right time."
Phil Brown on Hull City's relegation battle Quotes of the week
The Tigers ended a run of one league win in 18 games with a 1-0 victory at Fulham to give their chances of avoiding relegation a real boost.
The win takes City to 32 points but Brown believes his side could need another three wins to guarantee top-flight survival.
And he is expecting some nervous moments in the final ten games of the season.
Should the Tigers stay up, Brown believes it will be an immense feat.
"We still have a lot of work to go but it will be one of the greatest achievements that this club has ever done," Brown told Sky Sports after the win at Craven Cottage.
"People talk about 37 and 38 points (to avoid relegation) but I am convinced it is going to be more than 40 this year.
"Eleven and 12 clubs are going to be involved in a real squeaky bum affair from now until the end of the season and we are one of them but we have got a confidence boost at the right time.
"We have got 10 games to go and if we do survive in this Premier League we will have learnt how the pressures change through the season."
After absorbing plenty of Fulham attacks, substitutes Richard Garcia and Manucho combined for the Angolan striker, on loan from Manchester United, to net the winner in stoppage time.
And Brown was pleased to see his changes pay swift dividends.
"Manucho has got ability. Sir Alex (Ferguson) has loaned him out to try and get experience at this level.
"He seemed to change the game for us: when he came on it was a different kettle of fish and fortunately for us we got that little bit of quality into the box when it mattered."
Brown was also pleased to see his substitutions greeted more favourably than the change he made on Sunday against Blackburn when withdrawing Geovanni.
The Brazilian playmaker reacted angrily to being taken off in the defeat to Blackburn but he rewarded Brown's decision to start him at Fulham with a fine display.
"Players have got to accept that I am making changes for the team first and for the right reasons," said Brown.
"It's not a personal thing - it's so we can change the course of the game and people have got to respect that.
"They have got to understand we are all in this together and it's that togetherness that has got us to 32 points. Hopefully that togetherness can get us to 42 points."