Boateng: Pitch talk ruined spirit
Experienced midfielder George Boateng has put the blame for Hull's now near-certain relegation on former manager Phil Brown's infamous half-time team-talk at Manchester City last season.
With the Tigers trailing 4-0 at the interval at Eastlands on Boxing Day 2008, Brown marched his players into the penalty area in front of the travelling fans and conducted a fierce finger-wagging dressing-down.
Hull have won just seven Premier League games since, a slump which Brown's departure and Iain Dowie's arrival failed to arrest.
Today's 1-0 home defeat to Sunderland left them needing two wins, two West Ham defeats and a goal difference swing of 24 to keep them in the top flight.
"After the situation with the team-talk on the pitch at Manchester City, everybody tried to stay together and say that it wasn't a problem, but it was," admitted Boateng on Sky Sports today. "After that we found it difficult to have confidence in the manager at the time, Phil Brown. That killed the confidence of everybody in the team. People will say 'why did you not say anything?' but he was our manager."