Brown grateful for fortnight off

23 March 2009 05:15
Hull boss Phil Brown will use the forthcoming international break to regroup and get his squad ready for a crucial run of fixtures in April.Defeat at Wigan on Sunday continued a woeful run of just one Premier League victory in 14 matches and leaves the 13th-placed Tigers just four points above the relegation zone.Their next match at home to Portsmouth , a point behind them, on April 4 takes on increasing significance as Hull begin a month in which they will face Pompey, Middlesbrough and Sunderland on successive weekends.Brown knows April could well define their season but is reluctant to focus on anything other than the visit of their fellow strugglers from the south coast."People are saying it will be a nervous April looking at the next three games but we are just looking at the next one - Portsmouth," he said."It is a big game, as simple as that. We have already put the Wigan defeat behind us but we have to learn from it."Wigan are a side people say are a model for us to hang our hats on."As far as I'm concerned the model is about the experience at this level to win games, or not concede goals or even draw games if necessary and get something from them."Brown is grateful for the international break as it gives some of his injured players a chance to get fit.Ian Ashbee missed the JJB Stadium defeat with a hamstring problem while Andy Dawson was forced off by injury in the first half and Michael Turner battled through despite carrying a knock into the game."The beauty of the international break is it gives us an opportunity to get big players back," said Brown."Hopefully we will be able to get Ian Ashbee back on the training ground and he will have a fortnight to get back"Michael Turner had a knock before the game and limped his way through it and Andy Dawson looks like he has pulled a calf."Michael is nursing a pulled thigh and he got a whack on his side but he is a good character and he gets through the games and we will assess the situation in the next 24 hours."Kevin Kilbane , who had a disappointing return to Wigan after leaving the club in January, admits Portsmouth is now a huge game."You do look at other fixtures and you do look at other results - it's only natural, but you have to keep your focus on your own game as much as you can and get a victory as soon as you can," he told the Hull Daily Mail."I'm sure the coaching staff will get everyone together over the next two weeks and we need to regroup now ahead of that massive game against Portsmouth."Sometimes you want a game as soon as you can but sometimes it can be a good thing to take a step back."Of course, you can look at those three games coming up for us - and they're big - but you can only look at Portsmouth."It's a game we can win and we need to be confident and be positive. If we can do that, we can get the right result."It's about staying relaxed and not getting too carried away with things. I'm sure that we've got enough about us to do that."

Source: Eurosport