As Hull City supporters vented their fury at the appointment of Iain Dowie, the club's new manager was confident he will prove he was the right man. Despite unsuccessful spells at Charlton, Coventry and Queens Park Rangers, he exuded positivity yesterday as he focused on an exacting challenge that does not frighten him. Dowie has nine games in which to keep Hull in the Premier League and earn himself anot-her contract after replacing Phil Brown. And he will not let the criticism over his choice diminish his enthusiasm for the role.
"If it happens, it happens. There's no time for niceties," said Dowie. "I'm a very positive person. I don't like negative people around me or negativity on the training ground. We have to convince everyone the change in direction was right. I'm a great admirer of Phil; he's a friend of mine and it's a difficult time for Phil. I've been there. I had a fairly decent win percentage at QPR and it didn't work out for me.
"I wanted to get back in at the sharp edge and there's not much sharper than this." Adam Pearson, the Hull chairman, also backed Dowie, despite his attempts to bring in a higher-profile manager like Mark Hug-hes and Avram Grant. "We have a manager here who understands survival battles," he said. "We've been looking for someone to add discipline, someone who has strength and someone who is up for the fight. "Iain is all of those things. Sometimes it is not possible to make popular decisions. We can't run the club on the want of the supporters. We're in a position where we need to battle for every point and that is a classic Iain Dowie attribute."
Dowie's first game could not be more crucial. It is a trip to Portsmouth to take on the league's bottom club and almost certain to claim one of the three relegation places after being docked nine points yesterday for going into administration. The Premier League's punishment has left Avram Grant's side 17 points adrift of safety with nine games to go. @Email:firstname.lastname@example.org