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The Toe Poke

Brown apologises for Bullard and Barmby brawl

Hull City manager Phil Brown has confirmed that midfield pair Nick Barmby and Jimmy Bullard were involved in a bust-up in a public park on Monday, and apologised for the incident, which happened in front of members of the Women's Institute.

The English press had reported that the two had fallen out while on a team 'warm-down' outing just 24 hours after the Tigers were destroyed 5-1 by Everton, with Brown confirming that the incident did happen in his press conference ahead of Saturday's crucial home match against Wolves.

A witness told the Sun newspaper: "It was all quite nasty. A number of old people, some being walked by nurses, thought yobs were fighting and one screamed: 'Call the police'."

"The lads were training on a local park when Barmby had a go at Bullard, calling him lazy. Bullard rolled up his sleeves and said 'Let's have it out then'. Barmby said 'Don't be so silly, grow up'. But Bullard pushed him and it all kicked off before the other players split them."

Brown apologised for the incident, insisted that the two have now made their peace and are fully focused on aiding Hull's battle for survival.

"I'd like to apologise to the Women's Institute, I didn't realise there was a rally going on there and there was apparently 50-100 women going on a march across the Humber Bridge and the incident was unsavoury, it was unfortunate.

"It happens on the training ground on a regular basis, under the control of the club, but it seems to have got out this time. The players have settled their differences now, it was back to normal on Tuesday and they are getting on with the job in hand which is obviously the challenge of 10 games in the Premier League.

"These things do happen. I'm not condoning that kind of behaviour but it's an emotive game, it's a passionate game. Emotions do run high and certainly then the pressure is cranked up - which it is, we are coming to the business end of the season.

"It's a sign that they care. Nick Barmby has obviously got himself involved with Jimmy Bullard. They are big players where we are concerned and I'm looking forward to the response of the group and of the two players in question.

"We'll get on with it and deal with it. At the end of the day it has made headlines, because outside of the confines of the training ground we weren't expecting it to be swept under the carpet. We're big boys, we stand by our behaviour and have shaken hands and will get on with it. There are no fractures within the squad. This squad is united.''

Veteran Tigers midfielder George Boateng added: "I'm sorry because I missed it, I wasn't there. I would have paid to watch it!''


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