Bullard: 'We want Brown to stay'

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Hull's players proved they are firmly behind Phil Brown as they bought their manager precious breathing space after moving out of the relegation zone with a superb performance and a 2-1 victory against Stoke.

The performance of Jimmy Bullard, on his long-awaited home debut after 10 injury-ravaged months, was inspirational and with him in harness, Brown has reason for optimism.

Bullard said: "We thoroughly believe in the manager and the staff and we want him to stay. I believe he will - and hopefully for a long time. He is a great man and a great manager."

Brown's position had been the subject of heavy scrutiny owing to the club's dreadful run of form, with one report claiming he would be leaving regardless of the outcome. That was denied by new chairman Adam Pearson and it could be considered harsh if Hull's most successful manager is now shown the exit after a performance of commitment and determination.

Hull were unfortunate to trail at the interval after Matthew Etherington raced through to score from a tight angle against the run of play.

Former Stoke midfielder Seyi Olofinjana equalised with a sublime strike just after the hour and, although Ryan Shawcross hit the bar, Stoke were hanging on after Abdoulaye Faye was sent off for two bookable offences.

They eventually cracked as Thomas Sorensen pushed away a long-range shot from Bullard and substitute Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink snaffled the rebound on his 31st birthday.

Bullard realises Hull have been through a tough period but he can see them surviving in the top flight, with Brown at the helm.

The former Fulham midfielder said: "Sometimes football is like that, results don't go for you. But it's so tight down there and three or four wins can really boost you and give you confidence and make you go up the league.

"We feel the pressure as players and men and we wanted it for him."

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Jimmy Bullard
Stoke City
Ryan Shawcross
Premier League
Matthew Etherington
Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink
Abdoulaye Faye
Hull City
Thomas Sorensen

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