Brown: It will be heaven for Hull

HULL City manager Phil Brown insists that victory for his Tigers side at Ipswich Town on Sunday will earn them automatic promotion.

Elvin King


HULL City manager Phil Brown insists that victory for his Tigers side at Ipswich Town on Sunday will earn them automatic promotion.

While the Blues need three points to stand a chance of finishing in the top six, Hull need a win to overtake Stoke City and accompany West Brom in moving up to the Premier League.

Former Ipswich defender, coach and caretaker manager Tony Mowbray saw his West Brom side earn a point against Southampton last night that confirmed a top two finish.

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If the Baggies lose their final game on Sunday their superior goal difference will see them stay in the top two.

But Brown claims his side has the edge over Stoke - having already once 'taken the Premier League' from them.

Victory for Stoke at Colchester on Saturday looked to have guaranteed promotion for Tony Pulis' side - until Hull captain Ian Ashbee netted a late header in a 2-1 win over Crystal Palace.

This means Stoke need a point in their final game at home to Leicester to be sure of ending above Hull.

“They thought they were already up,” said Brown, who will be without veteran striker Dean Windass through injury at Portman Road.

“You could see the cries of joy turn to pain and disappointment on the television - that was music to my ears.

“The effect of Ian Ashbee's winner was massive on the promotion Richter scale, absolutely massive.

“Stoke had one foot in the Premier League on Saturday, they could feel it and they could touch it.

“They thought they were there but we took it away from them. That could have a tremendous detrimental effect on them.

“Now we need to win our own game at Ipswich. This is all that is concerning me.”

Hull are going to beam Sunday's match back to a giant screen in their home stadium, with free entry for their fans.

Tigers supporters have already snapped up their full 2,200 allocation of away tickets at Portman Road, and the match is likely to be a sell-out.

Looking ahead to what is bound to be a nerve-wracking afternoon at Portman Road on Sunday, Ashbee, who is hoping to play in every division for the same club by leading Hull to the top flight for the first time in their 104-year history, said:

“To do that would be something I'm very proud of.

“Sunday's match will be the biggest I have ever been involved in.

“If we can get Hull City promoted to the Premier League for the first time, it would be a huge achievement.

“I've been here six years now and I know what type of city it is. To do it for the supporters would be brilliant.”

Sunday's referee will be experienced Premier League official Andre Marriner, who had charge of Arsenal's win at derby last night.