Barmby eyes biggest test
Nick Barmby insists that Hull's match against Man Utd will be one of the biggest of his career.
By Richard Bailey
Last Updated: 23/05/09 1:23pm
Nick Barmby insists that Hull City's match against Manchester United at the KC Stadium on Sunday is one of the biggest of his career.
Having played in the UEFA Champions League during his time at Liverpool and helped Everton survive on the last day of the season at the expense of Bolton in 1998 that is some statement.
The 35-year-old knows that a win for the Tigers against newly crowned champions United - who are certain to have one eye on their Champions League final showdown with Barcelona three days later - would guarantee their survival.
Hull City fans will also be aware that a point could prove to be enough should Newcastle United fail to beat Aston Villa but the veteran midfielder is expecting a tough test no matter which team United decide to field.
"I have been fortunate to play in some very big games in my career but this is right up there with them," he told The Independent.
"All Hull fans probably had it in their mind that we would need something from the last game if we were to stay up and the stakes now are very high.
"Everyone knows what we have to do and putting aside the fact that I am from Hull, it's a massive game.
"It's disrespectful to talk about Manchester United perhaps playing a weakened team because they have fabulous players all round and Sir Alex Ferguson says himself that this is his strongest ever squad."
The former England international also reveals that had it not been for a decision back in his teens he could have been turning out for United on Sunday rather than wearing the black and amber.
"I was at United in every school holiday and they're the best club in the world," Barmby - whose son is a member of United's academy - added.
"I really enjoyed it there and could have signed for them but went to Spurs for a week and going to play for Terry Venables seemed the right thing to do.
"I'm happy now for United to win, but hopefully it will be on Wednesday in Rome rather than this weekend."