Grant McCann praises Hull City owners for holding their nerve so he and his players could prove a point

Grant McCann praised Hull City's owners for holding their nerve with him and his methods as the Tigers secured an instant return to the Championship.

A 2-1 win over Lincoln City booked their promotion for League One.

It was vindication for McCann, who led the team to an ignominious relegation in the summer, and Saturday's goalscorers, Josh Magennis and Mallik Wilks, were both part of the squad that went down. The Northern Irishman felt he had proved a point by righting that wrong.

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“I'm over the moon for everybody at the football club particularly Assem and Ehab (Allam, the owners) for their backing of me over the summer,” said McCann.

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“My staff and the players were outstanding and it's been a real team effort this season. The players have taken hit upon hit and criticism upon criticism when they've lost games and they've responded.

“It's been a tough season, particularly without our fans and it's just a shame they weren't here today and hopefully sometime soon we can get together and have a proper party. We're just delighted to get over the line.

“I made a real point to the players at the hotel today about performance, could we try and concentrate on the performance, but I knew deep down it was all about the win and we've done it. I couldn't have been more proud of them.”

Hull have added quality players to their squad this season, but the basic framework is clearly recognisable from 2019-20, when the club were pushing for the Championship play-offs at the turn of the year but collapsed dramatically after the sale of Jarrod Bowen and Kamil Grosicki.

Had it been put to a popular vote, there is every chance McCann would have been sacked for that.

“I take full responsibility for what happened last season,” he said. “We were simply not good enough and I was at the forefront of that, but to come bacl and respond, I know I've got that in me, that determination to respond and go again, I think I've done that all my career.

“It's not bigging myself up, the whole thing is about the group.

“We've got a saying at our football club, 'Surrender the me for we' and that's what it's totally been this season from everybody at the football to the players and my staff.

“We've believed in what we're doing, the process and the playing staff. We've not changed the way we play.

“We've got different ways of playing but the way we play doesn't change so we recruit to that system and that will not change next season because that's the DNA of Hull City and the way I like it. It's pleasing to see when it comes together.

“It (promotion) is better than as a player. It feels a lot better.

“I know the hard work behind the scenes from everybody at the football club to make a team successful.

“We didn't have a lot of time to do it, a two-and-a-half, three-week break to recruit a good squad for this division. We recruited players who if we went up would have a chance to play in the next decision and I think you've seen that this season with the determination this group's got, the ability this group's got to go again and prove people wrong.

“Even before a ball was kicked this season a lot of people had written us off. We proved them wrong today.”

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