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Former Hull City manager Phil Brown has gone down in football history for his infamous half-time meltdown during a team talk back in 2008 – after trailing 4-0 at Manchester City.
The Tigers, who displayed a poor performance in the first-half, were in for a surprise at half-time as Brown took a different approach during the 15-minute interval. While many managers speak to their players in secrecy, Brown had a very open and public team talk on the pitch at the Etihad Stadium.
"I was walking off the pitch when I spotted Phil heading onto it," then Hull striker Dean Windass recalled. "I just presumed he was going to make a point to the referee and thought nothing more of it. But then he shouted, "over here" and made sure we followed him." Brown got his players to sit in a circle as he conducted his half-time speech with over 45,000 spectators watching on.
"Even then, I didn’t fully realise what was going on," Windass added. "But then he sat us down and started jabbing his finger at us. He clearly wanted a reaction. I couldn't actually hear anything he said or not much anyway, which was probably for the best.
"There were 3,000 away fans behind that goal and they were singing their heads off. None of us lost any respect for the manager. It was a mistake by Phil, in my opinion, that's all. None of the lads held it against him."
Brown saw a response from his side in the second-half as Craig Fagan pulled a goal back with 10 minutes from time, before Stephen Ireland sealed the 5-1 result. Despite many holding a different opinion about his approach, the Newcastle-born boss believed it was the "right thing to do" at the time.
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"It was the right thing to do," Brown said post-match. "There is no doubt about it. I have got no regrets about it whatsoever. If it bruised one or two egos then so be it, although it wasn't intended to be that way.
"The priority for me is to get a second year in the Premier League. That has not changed. For us to do that we have got to win five games from 19."
That season was Hull's first ever in the top-flight after securing promotion through the play-offs. They travelled to Manchester in the top-six after swooping an impressive 27 points from 18 games. Hull later finished 17th place, only a single point adrift of Newcastle United who were relegated to the Championship.
- Hull City FC
- Manchester City FC
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