Brown happy about Hull Christmas party

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The Independent Football

Hull boss Phil Brown has no intention of stopping his players enjoying a Christmas party or night out this year.

The festive revelry of footballers has created plenty of negative headlines in recent years and the media have again picked up the subject after a reported bust-up at Stoke this week.

Some critics have suggested Barclays Premier League clubs would be wise to ban their millionaire stars from holding parties altogether but Brown believes his players are mature enough not to let things get out of hand.

Brown said: "I'm a big believer that we're in a place of work and it doesn't matter if you are a Premier League outfit or a shop floor fitter, you deserve a party at Christmas.

"I will not be going against our lads going for a few beers.

"You have got to give these lads a little bit of time off. They are human beings at the end of the day playing in a high-pressure situation, a high-pressure game.

"Obviously they have to understand who they are and where they are, and who they are representing but if they do that they will be okay.

"You have got to go to the right places but we have a wealth of experience in the likes of George Boateng, Nicky Barmby.

"These players have been there, seen it and done it. They know what the deal is, they are not stupid lads.

"They understand there is a public perception out there."

The situation at Stoke involved an alleged altercation between manager Tony Pulis and striker James Beattie after last weekend's game at Arsenal.

There has also been another incidence of reported dressing room unrest this week involving QPR manager Jim Magilton and player Akos Buszaky.

Brown says he can sympathise with the managers concerned when such stories leak out into the media.

"As far as I am concerned, once the door closes it stays in house," said Brown.

"You do sympathise when that does break down. I've been involved in a lot of changing rooms in my time, so have Tony Pulis and Jim Magilton.

"It has not happened to me yet. I don't want to tempt fate but I have got a good group of lads that understand the deal."

Hull are hoping to overcome the loss of linchpin Jimmy Bullard to a fresh injury as they take on Blackburn at the KC Stadium on Saturday.

The club's record signing, who has made just six appearances since his £5million move from Fulham in January, could be out for up to eight weeks.

The 31-year-old was diagnosed with medial ligament damage after falling awkwardly in last weekend's defeat at Aston Villa.

Brown said: "Being the optimist I am, I am hoping Jimmy will be back on the field for us in January at some stage.

"But it is an opportunity for somebody to step into his shoes.

"They are big shoes to fill - the way he has played football and the way he has put a smile on people's faces - but the game of football has always moved at a rapid pace. It is moving on again.

"A different problem has arisen and we have got to deal with it."

Seyi Olofinjana could return after missing four games with a hamstring injury but defenders Andy Dawson and Anthony Gardner are doubtful with thigh and knee problems respectively.

Striker Caleb Folan is also back at the club after Middlesbrough decided not to extend his three-month loan deal.

The Republic of Ireland international has been out injured but is due to start training with the Tigers again next week.