Brown says keeping Hunt is crucial for relegation scrap

Manager believes winger's goalscoring is key to keeping club in Premier League

The Hull City manager Phil Brown believes Stephen Hunt can play a pivotal role in their fight for survival after the club announced the winger was not for sale.

The Republic of Ireland international has reportedly been the subject of renewed speculation involving Wolverhampton Wanderers but Hull have moved quickly to fend off any further interest in the player.

Hunt has been a major success since his move from Reading last summer and Brown is adamant that the winger has an important role to play in the second half of the season. Hunt, 28, has scored five goals for the struggling Tigers, including both strikes as Brown's side battled back from 2-0 down to draw at relegation rivals Bolton Wanderers last month.

"I think goals first and foremost have made him special this season," said Brown. "But he is such a little character. He does things in the right way. He is a professional. What highlights Stephen Hunt for me is that he does things when nobody else is watching – professional things.

"He conducts himself in the right manner. When he crosses the white line, a full-back knows he will be up against it. He has got a tenacious attitude towards the game, not just towards wing play, but towards the game. For a little fella, he has got a big heart.

"Stephen has said himself that we are not a one-man team and I agree with that. You never are a one-man team, if you are, then you are in trouble. But where Stephen is concerned, he has been at the forefront of assists, the forefront of goals scored and at the forefront of everything we've done. We need five or six like that in the same side and before you know it, we have got a team."

The club made it abundantly clear that Hunt would remain at the KC Stadium when they posted a statement on their official website yesterday morning. The statement read: "The club is now becoming bored of continual speculation surrounding his future and would like to place on the record that the player is not for sale. The club will not be commenting any further on speculation in relation to this player. He is not for sale."

Hull's chairman Adam Pearson has said the club are overspending by around £9m on wages but efforts are being concentrated on moving on fringe players, not first-team regulars.

Brown is hoping to bring in one or two new faces though with Manchester City winger Vladimir Weiss a top target. Brown had hoped to wrap up a deal for the 20-year-old this week, but City want a loan fee which has proved a sticking point. Weiss is a bit-part player at Eastlands and has not played in the Barclays Premier League since arriving from Inter Bratislava for free in July 2008.

Brown dismissed speculation linking Hull with Derby County winger Kris Commons and Aston Villa's midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker.

However, the City manager also added that striker Caleb Folan was being chased by a host of other Championship sides after turning down a move to Queen's Park Rangers. "He refused a move to QPR," said Brown. "But there are four or five Championship clubs interested in taking Caleb, but at the moment, as a manager, I thinking it is not a bad situation to be in. He looks like he wants to play for Hull City which is never a bad deal.

"The chairman's remit and mine are to be a Premier League chairman and a Premier League manager at the end of the season. How we do that will depend on what we do in January."

Hull spent yesterday working at Derby's training ground and are staying in the Midlands on their way down to London for tomorrow's match with Tottenham at White Hart Lane.

Spurs hammered Hull 5-1 at the KC Stadium earlier in the season and Brown believes they have what it takes to break the top-four cartel. "They have got a chance of breaking into the top four," he said. "It is very interesting at the top end. But any Tottenham fan probably would not settle for a place in the Europa League."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum