Ex-Hull City manager Phil Brown set to take over at Hartlepool United (updated)
FORMER Hull City boss Phil Brown was expected to be confirmed as the new Hartlepool manager today.
Brown said he was ready to drop down into League One in order to “prove himself again”.
Having been out of work for almost 12 months since leaving Preston North End in December last year, Brown appeared on the verge of a return to the club where he started his career.
He was in the stands last night to watch Hartlepool's reserves lose to Gateshead.
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However, the deal has yet to be confirmed with some reports this evening suggesting talks have broken down.
With more than 200 games under his belt as a Hartlepool player, Brown, 53, said a return to his North East roots held huge appeal.
"I think the time is right to maybe prove myself again and go back down a division and grab a hold of a challenge, get my hands dirty as a coach or a manager, and try and run a football club to the best of my ability to show people I am not scared of a challenge such as a Hartlepool United," said Brown, who took the Tigers into the Premier League via the play-offs at Wembley.
“I don’t think you can ever be under any illusions when you’re a new manager going into a club. Invariably you will inherit a problem otherwise there would not be a vacancy and that is the case at Hartlepool United and I am under no illusions and I am not kidding myself or anyone else.”
With just eight points from their first 17 games, Hartlepool are rock-bottom of League One and fighting against the drop.
With a nine-point gap between them and safety, Brown admits just saving them from relegation would be an achievement.
“It is a big ask, and to survive this year would be a massive challenge, but obviously it’s not impossible,” he said.
“I am a North East lad, I left the North East in 1985 and I still have the strong accent as I go up there on a regular basis. I remember in 1979 when I began playing and the old memories of derby battles with Darlington. I have great memories of that.”