Brown - Tigers are united
Phil Brown insists his squad are united, despite a bust-up involving Nick Barmby and Jimmy Bullard.
By Danny Wright
Last Updated: 12/03/10 6:18pm
Hull City boss Phil Brown insists his squad is united behind their goal of staying in the Premier League despite a bust-up between Nick Barmby and Jimmy Bullard.
Barmby and Bullard were involved in a confrontation during a warm-down training session near the Humber Bridge in the wake of the Tigers' 5-1 hammering at Everton.
The incident was witnessed by shocked members of the Women's Institute, with the club having elected to spend time away from their usual training ground.
But Brown has moved to draw a line under the issue by insisting the dispute showed the pair cared about the club's fight to beat the drop.
And the City chief insisted that similar clashes were frequent on the training ground, although he said he had dealt with the players internally.
Unsavoury and unfortunate
Brown told Sky Sports: "(It's) unfortunate for one reason and one reason only. Normally you get everyday training ground spats where you get two boys who want to settle their differences on the training ground and they slug it out.
"Unfortunately it happened off the training ground. It happened near the Humber Bridge, which was the warm down venue for Monday and I'd like to apologise to the Women's Institute - I didn't realise there was a rally going on there.
"The incident was unsavoury and unfortunate. It happens on the training ground on a regular basis under the control of the football club.
"I'm not condoning that kind of behaviour but it's an emotive game. It's a passionate game and emotions do run high and certainly when the pressure's cranked up - which it is - we're coming to the business end of the season.
"It's a sign that they care. They're big players where we are concerned and I'm looking forward to the response of the group and the response of the two players in question."
Hull are currently languishing second from bottom in the table and face a difficult test against Arsenal at the KC Stadium on Saturday.
The hammering at Everton was their third successive defeat and it leaves the club with plenty of work to do in order to secure another season in the top flight.
A tough run-in awaits Brown's side in the season's final 10 matches, and the distraction of a bust-up between two key figures in the Tigers squad threatens to hamper his preparations for the visit of the title-chasing Gunners.
The 50-year-old said the fracas was history, though, insisting that both Barmby and Bullard had settled their differences.
He went on: "It seems to have got out this time but the players have settled their differences and it was back to normal on Tuesday.
"They shook hands and they're getting on with the job in hand which is obviously the challenge of 10 games in the Premier League.
"We'll get on with it, we'll deal with it. Because it was outside the confines of the training camp we weren't expecting it to be swept under the carpet.
"We're big enough boys, we start with our behaviour and they've shook hands and we'll get on with it."
The Hull chief insisted the disagreement hadn't affected team spirit within the East Yorkshire camp, and promised the club's supporters his players would come out fighting on the pitch.
"There are no fractures within the camp," added Brown. "This squad is united, this squad is together - they have shown that on the training ground since Monday and they will show that on the field of play against Arsenal."