Brown tells Geovanni to control anger

Brazilian escapes fine for outburst but Hull manager threatens to drop playmaker
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The Independent Football

Hull manager Phil Brown has told Geovanni he must calm down or get used to the bench after revealing he opted not to fine the Brazilian for his angry outburst at the weekend.

The playmaker shook his head and stared aggressively at Brown after realising he was to be substituted during Sunday's 2-1 defeat to Premier League relegation rivals Blackburn, and appeared to continue with a furious rant after taking his seat on the bench.

Brown revealed his displeasure immediately after the game – even joking that he hoped Geovanni failed a post-match drugs test for which he had been singled out. As it turned out, the doping control gave the former Barcelona player a chance to regain his cool and then say sorry for his behaviour.

Brown welcomed Geovanni's contrition but has told his creative lynchpin that with the Tigers now very much in a fight for top-flight survival, there is no room in his team for hotheads.

"He was very apologetic for his actions," Brown said. "But as far as I was concerned his actions were those of an angry man, as opposed to a composed man, and that's what I'm looking for. I'm looking for players who go across the white line and compose themselves, and can respect the decision [to substitute him] for the reasons it was taken.

"It was taken for the right reasons. If I printed the stats it would be there for everybody to see. But I'm not going to wash dirty clothes in public."

Reports have suggested Geovanni was fined by Brown for his fit of pique, but the City manager denies that is the case and insists he will be considered for tonight's crucial trip to face Fulham at Craven Cottage.

"It's not written in his contract that if he storms off and gets the huff that you can fine him," Brown said. "I'm a big boy, but he won't be doing it to me again – that's for sure.

"But it's between me and Geo, it's in-house, it will remain in-house, and he's got an opportunity on Wednesday to do something about it."

The 29-year-old was taken off as part of a double substitution just eight minutes into the second half on Sunday, following a largely ineffectual display which was typical of his recent dip in form. Brown believes the Brazilian may be suffering from nerves as the season enters its most crucial phase, and cited a missed opportunity in the opening half when an uncharacteristically poor touch frittered away a dangerous position.

"Composure is absolutely key at the moment. Probably the best 'touch' player at the club had the best opportunity to score the opening goal. It was probably the heaviest touch I've seen him have since he came to this place," Brown said.

"But I know there's still a player in there who has something to offer between now and the end of the season but it has to come sooner rather than later." Brown's decision to haul off his star turn was greeted with derision from the home fans at KC Stadium. "Of course it hurts," he admitted. "But we're big boys and that's what we're in the game for, making big decisions. You've got to make them.

"Them venting their anger against me – I'll take that all day as long as they keep it away from the players."