Hull united despite Bullard bust-up insists Brown

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The Independent Football

Manager Phil Brown is confident his Hull squad remains united for their relegation fight despite a training ground altercation between Jimmy Bullard and Nick Barmby.

The duo had to be separated by team-mates during a warm-down session at a park next to the Humber Bridge just a day after the Tigers were thrashed 5-1 by Everton to leave them second from bottom in the Barclays Premier League.

The clash between two of the club's senior players was made all the more embarrassing as it occurred in front of more than 50 onlookers from the Women's Institute who were about to march across the bridge.

Brown denied the incident would be a distraction ahead of the visit of title-chasing Arsenal to the KC Stadium tomorrow night, saying the two players and club had moved on as they look to get out of the drop zone.

"They were very unfortunate circumstances that happened on Monday. I'm not condoning that type of behaviour, but it's a passionate game and emotions do run high," Brown said.

"These things happen when the pressure is increased, and it certainly is as we get closer to the end of the season.

"Nicky Barmby has obviously got himself involved with Jimmy Bullard and it's a sign that they care.

"There are no fractures within the camp. This squad is united.

"The players have settled their differences, it was back to normal on Tuesday. They shook hands and they are getting on with the job at hand, which is the challenge of 10 games in the Premiership.

"We have 10 big challenges and the challenge is to get something from the game tomorrow night against one of the best teams in the world footballing wise."

Brown, who was back at the club's training ground in Cottingham when the incident occurred, apologised to those who witnessed the incident.

"As I say, the incident was unsavoury, it was unfortunate. I'd like to apologise to the Women's Institute. I didn't realise there was a rally going on there," he said.

"There was apparently 50-100 women going on a march across the Humber Bridge.

"It happens on the training ground on a regular basis under the control of the football club, but it seems to have got out this time."

Hull are in the relegation zone on goal difference after a run of three defeats.

All three losses came away from home after the Tigers had seemingly given their survival hopes a huge shot in the arm with a home win over Manchester City, which followed a draw with Chelsea.

Hull have not played at home for five weeks since their win over City and Brown said his squad welcomed a return to the KC Stadium, where they have lost just one of their past 10 league matches.

"We're looking forward to playing in front of our home fans. We've been on our travels since the Man City game and the performances haven't been one of credit," he said.

"We know what the problem is, we certainly know what the solution is at home.

"We have six out of our remaining 10 games at the KC Stadium, starting with Arsenal tomorrow night.

"If we bring out that level of performance that we did against Man City and Chelsea then we have a great chance of taking something out of the game."