Brown's tough love pays off at first attempt

Hull City 2 Wigan Athletic 1
Click to follow
The Independent Online

There might just be a method to the madness of Phil Brown. Having taken his players on a walk across the Humber Bridge as well as dispensing with all privileges at the training ground, including the removal of the dart board in the canteen, the Hull City manager made it clear it was time for some serious soul searching at the club following four straight defeats, the most recent being last week's 6-1 mauling at Liverpool.

His actions smacked of desperation from a manager running out of ideas with regards to engineering an upturn in fortunes, but they had the desired effect to ease the pressure on everyone associated with the club, but most of all Brown. Goals in the second half from Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink, his first since joining on a free transfer this summer and Geovanni left Wigan Athletic with a mountain to climb. Scott Sinclair, on as a substitute, pulled one back for the visitors but it was no more than a consolation. What a difference a week makes. Wigan beat Chelsea last weekend but have now lost to the team boasting the worst defensive record in the Premier League.

The day belonged to Brown, however, after Hull secured their first home win over Wigan since 1985 to avenge last season's five-goal mauling here. He said: "It's a big three points for everyone's confidence and mentality. I'm pleased for the players because this is a hell of a result. Privileges were taken away from them and it seems to have paid off.

"I'm very happy. It wasn't just the performance but the week's work. I'm in the game to have fun and maybe I'd been getting too intense, so going on the Humber Bridge was a way of getting things clear again. We've been too soft on the field in recent weeks but we were hard to beat again. But this win won't take the pressure off. I'm under no illusions. We need to build on this but at least we can go into the [international] break in a better frame of mind."

Chances came and went and no side appeared capable of dominating until Vennegoor secured the breakthrough, meeting Dean Marney's corner with a glancing header. Eight minutes later Kamil Zayatte's strong run and cross allowed the Brazilian Geovanni to double the advantage.

Sinclair scored with his first touch but it is back to the drawing board for Roberto Martinez, the Wigan manager, who said: "We knew what we were going to face today but couldn't deal with it. Two lapses in concentration have cost us dear. Mistakes have been punished and I'm disappointed."

Attendance: 22,822

Referee: Mark Clattenburg

Man of the match: Geovanni

Match rating: 7/10

Comments