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Duffen dismisses Brown critics

Hull chairman Paul Duffen has thrown his backing behind boss Phil Brown, and dismissed speculation surrounding the City manager's future as "mischief making''.

• Terrific Torres mauls Tigers

The Tigers suffered a humiliating 6-1 drubbing at Liverpool on Saturday, which left them one place off the foot of the Premier League. Hull's poor start to the season and a wretched 2009 overall - they have won just two and lost 17 of 24 league games since the turn of the year - has resulted in Brown's position coming under scrutiny.

But despite the hammering at Anfield, City's fourth successive loss, Duffen believes it is too early to write-off his team and insists he is fully behind the man who masterminded the Tigers' promotion to the Premier League in 2008.

"There is no speculation at the football club about the manager's position," Duffen told the Hull Daily Mail. "That's just mischief making in the media if there is. We are certainly not aware of it. At the moment we are seven games into a new campaign, and we are right in the mix. Only a few points separate us from the middle of the league, and I am really pleased with the signs I see developing in the squad.''

Duffen feels there are a number of people who have come to expect too much from a club that only played top-flight football for the first time in its history last season.

"In football you are always going to find a vociferous minority who will be discontented,'' Duffen said. "I also think second-season syndrome articulates a little bit about fans and a club who got into the Premier League for the first time in 104 years.

"In the second season maybe they have set themselves unrealistic expectations. As you could see, we certainly don't lack spirit or heart. Everyone is playing for each other and they are certainly playing for the manager.''

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