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Megson has no sympathy for Hull boss Brown

Bolton Wanderers manager Gary Megson insists there is no room for sympathy in football as former Wanderers assistant Phil Brown prepares to bring his struggling Hull City side to the Reebok on Saturday.

Having been as high as third earlier in the season, the Tigers slipped into the bottom three after Newcastle's victory over Middlesbrough on Monday.

And with only one win in 20 Premier League matches, their first top-flight season in the club's 105-year history is in serious danger of ending with a swift return to the Championship.

Megson is no stranger to the threat of relegation, either as a player or manager.

''It can happen. I was at Norwich (in 1994-95) when we were in the top six at Christmas and the goalkeeper Bryan Gunn broke his leg and I think we won one game from that point onwards,'' he said.

''You keep thinking it is going to change and it doesn't and then you get a problem with confidence and then things seem to go against you and that seems to have happened to Hull.

''It is also more difficult in the second half of the season; all the bigger clubs strengthen in the January window because they know they have to and it is hard for any club coming up from the Championship.

''In terms of sympathy, football is not like that, you are purely concerned with your own football club and whatever benefits you can get for them.''

Less than a year ago, Bolton were in a similar situation to Hull and relegation appeared a certainty until they picked up 11 points from their final five matches to escape.

Because of that, Megson hopes his players will put in an honest performance.

''We were in that position last season that Hull are in now but they won't expect any favours from us and nor will they get any,'' he added. ''We didn't get or expect any last year. That is just the way it is.

''I'm sure there is going to be a lot of attention throughout the country on how we approach the game. We want it to be seen that if we go out there and give everything we have got and Hull beat us then that is a result of their quality and not the fact we have not turned up, which would be really galling.

''One of the things that helped us last season was that we played a few teams who didn't have anything to play for.

''We benefited from that but I don't want us to become one of them. To be frank, we have done that in the last couple of games and have looked not flat but not as sparkling as I would expect.''

Wanderers have drawn their last three games as their winless run stretched to five matches but, as tomorrow is their final home fixture, Megson hopes for a performance from his players.

''Our last three I've not been particularly happy with,'' said the Bolton boss. ''The dressing rooms at half-time on each of those occasions have not been particularly nice places.

''I spoke to the players about it this week and told them I don't want to be going in there after 45 minutes and being upset with them because I don't want to do that and they don't deserve that.

''For 33 games, whether we have played well and won, or played badly and lost, we have always been bang on in our application.

''In the last three games I think we have had the tendency to look at the league and think we have a safety net so if things start to go wrong we can kick on again and football doesn't work like that.

''This is our last home game of the season. We didn't play well against Sunderland (last weekend) and we owe it to ourselves and the supporters to put on a better show than that.''


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