Hull improve chances of holding on to Campbell

PAUL DUFFEN believes Hull City's promotion to the Premier League can only strengthen any hopes of retaining Fraizer Campbell's services.

The Manchester United striker has been on loan with the Tigers since October and his 15 goals played a major part in the club ending a 104-year wait for top-flight football.

Campbell was non-commital on his future after Saturday's Championship play-off final

victory over Bristol City at Wembley with the Huddersfield-born 20-year-old waiting to hear whether Sir Alex Ferguson sees him as part of next season's plans at Old Trafford.

But Duffen has revealed that Hull, who sealed a 60m cash booty courtesy of Dean Windass's 39th-minute winner, are hoping to keep Campbell at the KC Stadium either on a temporary or permanent basis.

The Tigers chairman last night told the Yorkshire Post: "The position with Fraizer is that he now goes back to Manchester United and Sir Alex has a decision to make.

"I am sure he will know whether Fraizer is ready to go into the first-team squad at United or not. If it is the latter, then there will be two options – one to loan Fraizer out for another year's experience or, instead, to sell him.

"Obviously, if he chooses one of these two options then we would be interested and would then have a conversation with United. And I believe we would then have a very good chance of getting Fraizer.

"I firmly believe that us being in the Premier League could be a huge plus in our favour. I have said all along that Fraizer should not start next season in the Championship, a player with his ability has to be in the top flight.

"But the ball is completely in Sir Alex's court. I will certainly not be holding a gun to his head and demanding an answer. Fraizer is a Manchester United player and we totally respect that."

Such is the fast-moving nature of football that thoughts have already moved towards next season and Hull's difficult task of staying in the Premier League.

Duffen revealed in Saturday's Yorkshire Post that most of the estimated 35m cash booty that will come with playing in the top flight next season will be handed to Brown for team strengthening.

With the fate of last season's play-off winners Derby County uppermost in many minds, clearly time is of the essence for Hull as they look to bring in the players who will give the club a fighting chance of staying among the elite.

Duffen, who has paid tribute to the sporting manner in which Bristol City officials and fans accepted defeat, said: "Since Saturday, it has been a time to pause and reflect on what has been achieved. We also have the civic parade (today) to enjoy.

"But we will then get down to the job in hand. We started our planning for this in January so have a list of four or five names for every position.

"There will be a backbone of players who have been through this amazing journey and they will be vital to us next year. We will not make the mistake of putting a team of individuals on the pitch."

Manager Brown, meanwhile, has promised to give the players who have created history this season their chance in the Premier League, though the Tigers manager did insist he will be ruthless when required.

He said: "It is a decision I will have to make after two or three games or even longer than that if they are not good enough. But they will be given an opportunity.

"You look at Reading and they actually survived (in 2006-07) with the players that got them promoted.

"If you look at Bristol City this season, they not only survived (in the Championship) with the players that got them promoted, the players they were promoted with were brilliant.

"I think there is a lot to be said for team spirit, togetherness, camaraderie and mentality. There is a lot to be said for working together over 49 games and they will be given their reward.

"We will get together when we get back. Hopefully, it will be a pre-season that they will remember because we need to be fit and prepared for whatever the Premier League throws at us.

"I know what the Premier League is capable of throwing at teams, but if you are organised, and you stick to your beliefs, and you have sufficient ability to help you in those situations, then we will be okay."

Hull have two lists of targets – one for UK players and another for those from abroad – and Brown is quick to stress that any new arrivals will help bolster an already strong team spirit.

The former Bolton Wanderers assistant manager said: "There certainly were foreign players at Bolton and the foreign players who came here this year like Henrik Pedersen and Jay-Jay Okocha have helped us in that dressing room.

"It is not just about the 16 against Bristol City. It was about the players who didn't get on the pitch as well. There is a good camaraderie, a good team spirit.

"We will make decisions on those players obviously in the close season as to whether they are offered new contracts or not. There is a lot of planning to be done and hopefully you boys will allow me to enjoy today."