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The usually soft-spoken veteran was hardly understated in his assessment of the Tigers' achievements...

Nicky Barmby is over the moon at the fact that Hull City have managed to preserve their top-flight status despite the psychological torture of the second half of the season.

A magnificent strike by Manchester United youngster Darron Gibson handed Hull defeat at the KC Stadium, yet there were unbridled celebrations after the final whistle as results elsewhere mean the Tigers will be playing Premier League football next season.

"It means everything. It was a great day for the fans and staying up means everything to them and the players," trumpeted Barmby on the club's official website.

"They saw the commitment today, although I have to say they also saw it from Manchester United. For a supposed under-strength side, they were a very, very good team.

"It was hard to get the ball off them and the future is definitely bright at that club.

"But today is about us staying in the Premier League and that is what we wanted to do right from the outset. We've managed to do it and everybody connected to the club is chuffed to bits."

The highly experienced ex-England man went on to echo manager Phil Brown's sentiment that surviving to fight another season in the Premier League feels even better than it did to secure promotion.

"We obviously heard the cheers when Aston Villa scored [against Newcastle United] and the drama on Sunday is what sets this league apart from every other," continued Barmby.

"This tops Wembley last year. To have another crack at the top flight gives the fans another journey to look forward to."

Derek Wanner,