The Hull City manager Phil Brown is confident of keeping his job despite the departure of chairman Paul Duffen from the struggling Premier League club. Speaking at a press conference after Duffen resigned yesterday, Brown said: "It doesn't affect my position. My players are a million per cent behind me and will hopefully show that against Burnley on Saturday." Duffen admits the pressure resulting from Hull's poor results this season led him to resign. But he yesterday wished the club continued success as they bid to retain their Premier League status.
Duffen stood down after pressure mounted on him and Brown following the club's poor start to their second season in the top flight, which has seen them take just eight points from their opening 10 games. In addition, the club's accounts - finally released this week, five months behind schedule - showed borrowings of £22 million (Dh132m), prompting accountants Deloitte to predict the club will have to raise £23million (Dh138.8m) to balance their books should they be relegated, and £16m if they survive.
In a statement, Duffen said: "When I succeeded Adam Pearson as chairman of Hull City Football Club in June 2007 I was very aware of the responsibility to build on his legacy. I articulated an intention to take the Tigers to the previously uncharted waters of the Premier League and to the eternal credit of the players and coaching staff, that seemingly ridiculous ambition was achieved 11 months later.
"The start to our maiden top-flight campaign broke all previous records for a newly promoted side and ensured that 2008 will forever be remembered as the most remarkable year in Hull City's history. Football is a results business and in the same way that I enjoyed the successes of the previous two seasons, so I must take ultimate responsibility for the disappointments of 2009." The Tottenham striker Roman Pavlyuchenko's performances on the pitch are being affected by "psychological problems", his agent has claimed. The Russia forward failed to impress in the 2-0 Carling Cup win over Everton on Tuesday having been handed a rare start. Agent Oleg Artemov said in The Sun: "His poor performance recently is not due to a lack of match practice but psychological problems.
"Of course, not getting into the starting line-up, sitting on the bench is not good for any player. "But Roman is much more affected by the feeling that the manager doesn't trust him and prefers to use other forwards." Manchester United have submitted a claim of mistaken identity to the Football Association after Fabio da Silva was booked by referee Chris Foy against Barnsley in the Carling Cup. Instead the offender - for a challenge on Jamal Campbell-Ryce - was his twin brother Rafael. The submission will be heard on Tuesday by a regulatory commission. The Brazilian twins helped United secure a place in the quarter-finals of the competition thanks to a 2-0 victory.
* With agencies