Ex-Town defender's day of destiny

WAYNE Brown has won his fitness battle and is expected to start in the heart of Hull City's defence in today's Championship play-off final. Almost eight years to the day since he was left out of the Ipswich side that beat Barnsley to win promotion, Brown has shaken off a calf injury to make sure he doesn't miss out again.

Derek Davis

WAYNE Brown has won his fitness battle and is expected to start in the heart of Hull City's defence in today's Championship play-off final.

Almost eight years to the day since he was left out of the Ipswich side that beat Barnsley to win promotion, Brown has shaken off a calf injury to make sure he doesn't miss out again.

Now a mainstay in the Hull City defence that meets Bristol City tomorrow in the Championship showcase game, Brown was an unused substitute for Ipswich when George Burley guided them to the Premiership.

Brown is determined not to miss out again and of making sure there is another happy ending for his team as the Tigers look to get into the top flight for the first time in their 104-year history.

He said; “I was on the bench that day and unfortunately didn't step on to the pitch.

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“But it was a special occasion and sticks in the memory - as will this - but more because I was involved in the winning team, there's no point getting all this way and falling at the final hurdle.”

The 30-year-old defender has won promotion via the play-offs at Wembley with Ipswich Town and automatically with Colchester United and is looking to complete the hat-trick.

Manager Phil Brown, no relation, will send his Hull City side out looking to create history by ordering them to believe they are ready for promotion to the Premier League.

The Tigers face Bristol City in the play-off final today knowing that victory on their Wembley debut will end a 104-year wait for top-flight football.

And Brown says the "belief" of his players will be the key asset to claiming a place in the history books.

"All our focus has to be on belief" Brown said.

"We have to go out there believing that we are good enough to belong in the Premier League, that will be key.

"If we don't think we're going to be a Premier League side tomorrow, that attitude will manifest itself in a poor performance.

"I looked at Manchester United play Chelsea and they look as though they knew they would be the Champions League winners, they believed in it.

"The players need to believe in themselves but I fully believe that we will be a Premier League club tomorrow."