Brown ignores speculation to focus on Burnley trip

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Football News

Hull manager Phil Brown will not allow a turbulent week off the pitch to derail his preparations for tomorrow's crucial trip to Burnley.

Chairman Paul Duffen stood down from his post on Thursday morning, with former incumbent Adam Pearson widely expected to return to the club early next week. The club's long-overdue financial results for the year to July 2008 prompted accountants Deloitte to forecast that a £23million shortfall will need to be made up should the club be relegated - with £16million to be found even if survival is achieved.

"It hasn't been difficult at all - if anything it sharpens your focus," Brown said. "It's been okay, it's been one where you have to get your head down and get on with it. It's part of this job."

He added: "Paul's (Duffen) not playing (on Saturday), and I'm here to talk about Burnley. I'm not here to talk about speculation on what hasn't happened (Pearson's anticipated return)."

The clash with the newly promoted Clarets - managed by Brown's former Bolton team-mate Owen Coyle - pits the Tigers against a team whose start to top-flight life has drawn similar plaudits to those garnered by City last season.

Wins at Arsenal and Tottenham were the stand-out moments as Hull hit the ground running after their 2008 Coca-Cola Championship play-off success, and Coyle's side have upset Manchester United and Everton in a fine start at Turf Moor.

"After 10 games (last season), we had 20 points," Brown recalled. "After 10 games they've got 12 points - references or parallels are entirely for you (the media) to make. We had a tremendous start last season, that's the reason we are playing Premier League football now.

"It's a tough game, I think Coyley's surprised everybody by winning as many games as he has done so far, certainly at home.

"The surprise package of the Premier League at this moment in time is Burnley Football Club - their home form, certainly against the likes of Everton and Manchester United, was not expected to say the least.

"Maybe the defeat last Saturday against Wigan has had an adverse effect on them and we will go to Turf Moor to try to exploit that."

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