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Page last updated at 22:15 GMT, Wednesday, 14 May 2008 23:15 UK

Barmby hails impact of Hull boss

Hull fans celebrate the win over Watford
Hull's win sparked wild celebrations at the KC Stadium

Veteran midfielder Nick Barmby praised manager Phil Brown as Hull beat Watford 6-1 on aggregate to reach the Championship play-off final.

"People don't realise what a great job the manager has done," said the 34-year-old, who scored in both legs.

"We were two games away from going out of this league last season."

Hull will reach the top flight for the first time if they beat Bristol City on 24 May but Barmby said: "It will be difficult. They're a very good team."

Darius Henderson's early goal gave Watford hope as they looked to overturn a two-goal deficit from the first leg.


But Barmby nodded in an equaliser before half-time and second-half goals from Caleb Folan, Richard Garcia and Nathan Doyle wrapped up victory for the Tigers.

"Watford got a great goal and played very well and we were lucky to get the goal before half-time because it settled us down," said Barmby.

Brown said the timing of Barmby's goal was crucial.

"Watford made a hell of a game of it, certainly in the first half," he said.

"There was a lot of nervous tension about and we knew that third goal was going to play a big part. Barmby's goal settled us down.

"We probably lost the battle in the first half but in the second half we won it and won the game consequently."

Brown said the entire backroom staff and directors shared the credit for Hull's leap from relegation candidates to being a game away from the Premier League.

"The progress of the club just stalled a little bit," he said.

"It needed fresh investment. Paul Duffen came in and bought the club and he's done a fantastic job. I take my hat off to him.

I thought I was one of the most positive guys in the country, but he's as positive, if not more.

"And then I worked with (assistant coach) Brian Horton. And I thought I was the most passionate man in football, but I've met someone who's more passionate.

"So as a backroom staff and as a football club, we've made massive strides in the last 12 months."

Watford boss Aidy Boothroyd backed his side to recover from the disappointment of defeat and mount another promotion challenge next term.

He said: "I have learned a lot about my players, myself and the club this year.  "We have got to change in the way we do things, but we will be back. I'm desperately disappointed, especially for our supporters.

"But Phil Brown and his Hull team have been better than us over the two legs, so full credit to them."

He added: "I thought we were absolutely fantastic in the first half but we then conceded really poor goal from our mistake. After that it was an uphill task but we gave it a real go.

"When you are pushing and trying to get back into the game there is always a chance Hull will counter attack with the pace and power they have and that's what happened."

see also
Hull 4-1 Watford (agg 6-1)
14 May 08 |  Championship
Brown supports referee after win
11 May 08 |  Championship
Watford 0-2 Hull
11 May 08 |  Championship

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