Grant McCann praises Hull City goal-scorer and goalkeeper after Oxford United success

Grant McCann hailed the performances of two men at opposite ends of the pitch following Hull City's 2-0 home triumph over Oxford United.

Hull City chief Grant McCann, right, hailed Keane Lewis-Potter's performance against Oxford United as "excellent". Pictures: Getty Images
Hull City chief Grant McCann, right, hailed Keane Lewis-Potter's performance against Oxford United as "excellent". Pictures: Getty Images

Promsing young winger Keane Lewis-Potter delivered arguably his best performance in a Tigers shirt, bagging a goal in each half to move his hometown club six points clear at the top of League One.

But goalkeeper Matt Ingram also played his part, making a number of important saves during an eventful opening period which saw the visitors threaten on numerous occasions.

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"I thought Keane was excellent," City head coach McCann reflected.

Tigers goalkeeper Matt Ingram kept his 14th League One clean-sheet of 2020/21 against Oxford.

"He started really brightly and it's nice to see him playing with that confidence.

"When he's one-versus-one like that, he's hard to defend because he can go both ways, he can go on his left or his right. Lewie [Coyle] spotted him with a really good ball and as soon as he came inside I knew he was scoring. I see him do that every single day in training.

"Even the second one, as soon as he comes inside - and they let him, again - I knew he was going to at least hit the target. I'm really pleased."

Lewis-Potter's first goal arrived on 22 minutes after skipper Coyle's nicely-weighted switch from right to left released the Tigers winger.

The 20-year-old cut inside Anthony Forde and onto his right foot, curling a low finish around Jack Stevens and into the far corner of the Oxford net.

His second came 19 minutes from time, and bore great similarity to the effort which broke the deadlock.

Lewis-Potter again raided down the left at pace, shifting the ball onto his right foot as he approached the penalty area and seeing his goal-bound shot deflected past Stevens by Rob Atkinson.

As good as he was on the afternoon, Lewis-Potter's form has been indifferent in recent weeks and McCann believes that his man-of-the-match display against the Yellows owed much to him being given chance to re-charge his batteries last weekend.

"Mallik [Wilks] and Keano are young players and in any season they're going to have ups and downs," the Hull chief added.

"We took him out of the team against Bristol Rovers, left him on the bench and I had in the back of my mind that I thought it would be good for him, will give him a little freshen up, then we can bring him back in.

"He's come back and scored at Peterborough [in midweek], where I thought his performance was excellent and then today he went up a notch.

"I thought he was excellent up against a very experienced player in Forde, who has played in the Championship. He caused him all sorts of problems.

"I'm really pleased with Keane's performance today."

At the other end of the field, goalkeeper Ingram made a couple of decent early saves to thwart Oxford's Dan Agyei and Elliot Lee, before producing a sensational reaction stop to keep out Josh Ruffels' far-post header and ensure that his side went into the break in front.

The clean-sheet which he finished the afternoon with was the former QPR custodian's 14th in 28 League One appearances this term.

"He made a very good save, a really good save," McCann said.

"It was almost an instinct save where Ruffels got ahead of someone at the back post.

"Matty had to get down and push it behind the post and he's been really good, really calm and assured in his performances and he talks really well.

"I always talk about the the goalkeepers we have got here, we're so lucky to have two very, very good, top-class goalkeepers who train so hard every single day, and two good young ones coming through also.

"It's a good department of the the football club."

Victory sees City stretch their lead at the summit over nearest challengers Peterborough to six points, though the Posh hold three games in hand.

Third-placed Lincoln City sit a point further behind having played two less than the Tigers.