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Premier League

Brown has no regrets over public team talk

Hull boss Phil Brown insists he has no regrets about giving his players a very public dressing-down last week.

Brown has been criticised in some quarters for conducting part of his half-time team-talk on the pitch, in full view of the crowd, during Friday's 5-1 thrashing at Manchester City.

It has been claimed the unusual move could be counter-productive and that players will not have been impressed, but Brown is adamant any humiliation was deserved.

"It was the right thing to do, there is no doubt about it," said Brown, whose side were 4-0 down within 36 minutes. "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.

"We were embarrassed, but that wasn't to do with the half-time dressing-down, it was the first-half performance.

"We didn't bring our best game to the table and we got our comeuppance. We can't allow that to happen ever again.

"Hopefully the mentality of the group will be stronger for the experience."

Hull will have had four days to mull over their Eastlands humiliation by the time they return to Barclays Premier League action against Aston Villa tomorrow night.

After a bright start to the season, Hull's form has become a concern with only one win in 10 and nine goals conceded in the last two games.

Brown has called on his squad to pull together to prevent the slump continuing. The Tigers are still eighth in the table but are just seven points above the bottom three and difficult games against Everton and Arsenal loom in the next month.

Brown said: "It is all hands to the pump. Defensively we have to put the record straight.

"The back-to-back 4-1 and 5-1 defeats have knocked confidence to a certain extent, but it is about getting back to the training ground and learning your trade again.

"Defensively we are going to have to be at our best, it is going to be a big test for us.

"We need to get back to clean-sheet mentalities, being difficult to play against and getting in the faces of the opposition."

Hull face a Villa side with serious designs on a top-four finish after being unfortunate not to get more than a point from a 2-2 draw with Arsenal on Friday.

Given the Tigers' past two results, Brown's ambitions for the game are more limited and the priority for him is an improved performance.

He said: "We have gone out of the top six and any thoughts of Europe, if they were at the forefront of anyone's mind, are not now.

"It is about arresting the situation, getting something out of the game against Aston Villa and restoring pride and confidence in the shirt.

"Would I take a point from the game? Probably yes, but the circumstances will change during the course of the 90 minutes.

"In the long-term scenario, we are still ahead of schedule. We are still in the top half and it will take a massive effort to remain there.

"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."

Brown has defender Sam Ricketts available again after missing the Manchester City debacle through suspension.