Brown sends warning to Tigers stars

The Tigers have yet to win on their travels this campaign and

consequently find themselves only a point above the bottom three

ahead of Saturday’s crunch clash with West Ham. The Hammers are

also on 24 points and victory at Upton Park would give Brown’s side

a valuable cushion as they look to avoid relegation for a second

consecutive year. He said: “With six (away) games to go we have to

draw on what we actually picked up last year – a 2-1 win at the

Emirates, a 1-0 win at White Hart Lane, a 2-1 win at Newcastle.

Those are reference points to winning at this level. “Everybody

said our home form was the reason why we only just survived, this

year it’s the away form and we have to make sure the last six games

we change that thought process.” Hull have only picked up four

points from their 13 away games this season and may be facing West

Ham at the wrong time, with Gianfranco Zola’s side coming off the

back of a 2-0 victory against high-flying Birmingham. Brown

continued: “They’ll be buoyed by the fact they’ve just had a

tremendous win and he plays good football, Gianfranco. “He’s stuck

by his principles and we know it’s going to be a good game of

football and it’s up to us to make sure we join in. “It’s a

mouthwatering game, as are the next 12. A lot of people will be

looking at the away form and suggesting we’re not going to get any

points away from home but they’re all opportunities to get

something.” Brown believes the tussle at the bottom of the table

will come down to a mental battle, and he believes his players have

what it takes. “There’s a collective belief in the camp that this

club is going to be a Premier League club for a third year

running,” he said. “We’re looking forward to the challenge at the

end of the season rather than fearing it. “It’s like snakes and

ladders. You go up the ladders when you win and you slide down the

snakes when you get beat. And that’s how close it is. “You’re

looking around at the opposition to find that little loophole,

mentally, and everyone’s looking at you. “We have to make sure

we’re strong mentally and at the moment the players look like

they’re relishing the challenge ahead, none more so than Upton Park

on Saturday.” Brown may call on record signing Jimmy Bullard for

only the sixth time since his £5million move from Fulham last

January. The 31-year-old has returned to training after his latest

knee injury, which saw him leave the field in tears at Aston Villa

in December, and could be on the bench. Brown will definitely be

without another midfielder in Geovanni, who is still sidelined by a

knee problem, but George Boateng is available after his red card

was rescinded. The veteran Dutchman was sent off in Hull’s 1-0

defeat by Blackburn last week for what referee Lee Probert judged

to be an elbow on Morten Gamst Pedersen. Brown added: “I said it

was a nonsense and I’ve been proved right but I don’t want to be

proved right after the game.”