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Page last updated at 17:14 GMT, Friday, 31 October 2008

Hull's fine start stuns Ferguson

Venue: Old Trafford
Date: Saturday, 1 November Kick-off: 1500 GMT
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live & live text commentary on BBC Sport website

Sir Alex Ferguson
Ferguson is full of praise for the achievements of Hull boss Brown

Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted he "cannot believe" Saturday's Premier League opponents Hull are above his Manchester United side in the table.

"I don't mean that in a derogatory way but it shows what can be done when you get the management structure right," said Ferguson of the league newcomers.

Hull are currently in fifth place, two points above Saturday's hosts.

And Ferguson added: "The results they have got are truly amazing. This is a game we cannot treat lightly."

Hull were billed by many as favourites to head straight back to the Championship, but they have claimed an impressive 20 points in 10 games, including shock victories away at Arsenal and Tottenham.

It is a great example to anyone coming out of the Championship and shows what can be done when you are prepared to have a go at teams

Man Utd boss Sir Alex Ferguson

Their record was tarnished slightly by a 3-0 defeat at home to Chelsea in midweek, but Ferguson is nevertheless impressed by the way the east Yorkshire club have handled their inaugural season in the top flight.

"It is amazing," said Ferguson ahead of the first league meeting between the teams in 33 years.

"It is a great example to anyone coming out of the Championship and shows what can be done when you are prepared to have a go at teams.

"They are playing three attackers, with Geovanni sitting behind the front two, and without doubt they are a goal threat.

"When you come out of the Championship, I have always said you need to invest to stay in the Premier League.

"But they have done it in a different way. George Boateng was a free transfer, Geovanni was a free transfer and they didn't pay much for Daniel Cousin from Rangers."

Ferguson added that he believes Brown is benefiting from the coaching expertise of ex-Hull and Manchester City boss Brian Horton and former Rochdale and Barnsley manager Steve Parkin.

They are assistant manager and first team coach respectively and help form a triumvirate which has found the answers to most questions this term.

For his part Brown was quick to thank the Scot for his role in helping him get the job as Derby manager three years ago.

We are coming up against a world-class team and we know it is going to be difficult

Hull manager Phil Brown

"He called the chairman," said Brown. "I asked him of course. He wouldn't have done it if he didn't think I was the right man for the job.

"I don't think he just picks phones up. It certainly helped me, it was a job I wanted, but I don't think he'll have such nice things to say about me tomorrow!"

Brown first came to Ferguson's attention when he was a coach at Bolton well over a decade ago.

"The first time he made reference to me was at an after-dinner do at Radcliffe Borough about 15 years ago," recalled the Hull manager.

"He spoke and mentioned me as an up-and-coming manager. I rocked back - how does he even know me? I was proud of the fact I was on his radar.

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"So he does his homework and leaves no stone unturned. He knows all about the opposition. He certainly knows his stuff."

Meanwhile, Brown believes his team can take heart from their performance against Chelsea ahead of their visit to Old Trafford.

"I think the players can take a lot out of the game, the fact they can go on the same field as hundreds of millions of pounds worth of talent and compete at that level," he said.

"That is exactly what is going to happen on Saturday.

"We are coming up against a world-class team and we know it is going to be difficult but if we bring a competitive performance to the table, like I know we can, then we will give them a game."

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see also
Man Utd v Hull
30 Oct 08 |  Premier League
Brown delighted to get game-time
30 Oct 08 |  Preston
Hull 0-3 Chelsea
29 Oct 08 |  Premier League
Man Utd 2-0 West Ham
29 Oct 08 |  Premier League
Man Utd keen to seal Tevez deal
26 Jul 08 |  Man Utd


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