Hull hope Barmby will halt slide after naming him fifth skipper of the season
Hull City manager Phil Brown has appointed Nick Barmby as his fifth captain of the season ahead of Saturday's match against Wigan in an effort to halt the Tigers' slump. Four successive defeats have left Hull rooted in the Premier League relegation zone and piled the pressure on Brown, whose side have won just two matches in 2009. But the under-fire Hull boss hopes to inspire a turnaround in fortunes by naming a new captain after confirming that Barmby will receive the armband for the match against the Latics. In the absence of regular skipper Ian Ashbee, Brown had previously named four different captains this season, with George Boateng, Michael Turner, Paul McShane and Ibrahima Sonko all leading the side. But the Tigers manager has now appointed a fifth new captain after insisting that only a player with 'the club at heart' can lead Hull away from the relegation zone. He said: 'Where captains are concerned, they can be a rare breed. Even George Boateng, who has been around the Premier League for 12 or 13 years, couldn't stop the team from going under in the latter stages of the game at Liverpool [when Hull lost 6-1]. 'That reflects badly on me as a manager, it reflects badly on the captain and it reflects badly on individuals. The captain needs to have the club at heart and understand the club. 'This is something that has got Nicky's name written all over it. He is a strong enough character in the dressing room. 'He has matured into a leader, none more so than over the last couple of years at Hull City. He's had a lot of close relationships with managers during his career and I feel as though I have got a close relationship with him. 'We speak frankly about things and we share things, none more so than about what is happening at Hull City at the moment.'
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