Chris Wilder’s endorsement gave Hull City boss Grant McCann a timely boost

HULL CITY head coach Grant McCann has revealed that a message of support from former Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder provided him with a welcome fillip amid a bruising start to 2021-22.

City headed into the international break on the back of a relieving 2-0 home victory over Middlesbrough, which has helped to lift a few dark clouds after a torrid opening.

Prior to victory over Boro, McCann’s side had not won for nine league matches since the opening day of the campaign and were without a home victory at second-tier level since July 2020.

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The Tigers had also not gone in front in a league game so far this season until Keane Lewis-Potter’s shot hit the post and rebounded into the net off the back of Boro keeper Joe Lumley in the 81st minute on Saturday.

Hull City head coach Grant McCann.

It was an overdue spot of luck for Hull, with McCann adamant that their spirited performances throughout this season had deserved much better.

An outsider in Wilder made that very point after contacting him following City’s recent game at Stoke which ended in defeat.

McCann said: “It was interesting that after the game with Stoke, I got a phone call from Chris Wilder the next morning.

“He said: ‘I was really impressed with your team. I have watched some teams in this division and you are one of the better ones I have seen with the attitude, application and demeanour of your players’.

“From a manager who has won divisions and taken teams up to the Premier League, it meant everything to me. This is what this team will do, give everything.

“We have a lot of young players learning on the job and it is the first time they have played at this level. If you look at this team, there’s probably seven or eight playing for the first time in the Championship and they will only grow and get better.”

While understandably delighted after seeing City claim some belated rewards against Boro, McCann was keen not to take any personal kudos but bestow the praise in the direction of his players who have endured a fair bit already in a tough second-tier baptism.

McCann added: “I’ll take final responsibility when we lose games and don’t get the team right. But when we win, it is all about the players. They deserve all the credit.

“Me, my staff and players are all working very hard to try and make the fans happy and see a team which will give everything for them.”