Phil Brown has expressed his pride at Hull City's failed pursuit of England international Michael Owen.
Brown was keen to bring the experienced striker to the KC Stadium after his Newcastle contract expired at the end of last month.
The Tigers boss was quietly confident a deal could be brokered; however, his hopes were scuppered when champions Manchester United threw their hat into the ring for his services.
Sir Alex Ferguson quickly thrashed out a two-year deal for the free agent, but the failed transfer pursuit did not leave a bitter taste in Brown's mouth.
"We had hoped to meet with Michael before we went to Italy but when you're up against Manchester United, you know you're on the back-foot," he told the Hull Daily Mail.
"To be in a two-horse race with Manchester United for an England international gives me great pride.
"He was ready to consider coming to Hull City but he has joined the champions of England. You can't argue with that but for me it was positive to see us in the running."