Grant McCann wants 'buzzing' Hull City to play as many matches as possible in busy 2020-21 season

Hull City are guaranteed 51 matches in a season squeezed into five fewer weeks by the coronavirus but coach Grant McCann wants more.

POSITIVE: Grant McCann is striking an upbeat tone ahead of the new season

Read More

Read More

The Tigers kick off their new season with a League Cup first-round tie at Sunderland just 45 days after finishing bottom of the Championship, but – helped by five signings – McCann is doing his best to create a positive vibe around the club.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

With that in mind, he wants to play as much football as possible.

Hull follow their opening game of the season with a Football League Trophy game at home to Leicester City Under-21s on Tuesday, then their opening League One match at Gillingham the next Saturday. Beating Sunderland will set up another League Cup tie the following midweek, with four rounds due to be crammed into September.

“There's a real buzz since we've come back,” says McCann, who added centre-back Alfie Jones to his squad on Friday. “Everyone knows what went wrong last season and we want to try and put it right and have a good season, a run in one of the cups and see if we can go far in those. We want to have an aggressive run in the EFL Trophy.

“There's going to be a lot of games this season and that's what we want. We want a busy schedule, a season where we're competing for the league, playing cup games and making sure everyone enjoys it.

“Last season we were hit from pillar to post from January onwards, now we need to turn a corner, change the culture and make sure we embrace the challenges of winning, that's a big thing for me.”

Whilst the odds on Hull winning the League Cup are very long, they are joint third-favourites for the Trophy (Sunderland are second), with its final at Wembley. The Trophy involves clubs in Leagues One and Two, plus top development sides, though none has yet to reach the Wembley final. Doing so will add five knockout fixtures to the schedule.

On Saturday, Sunderland will be playing their first competitive football for 179, and McCann is hoping his team will be sharper.

“I hope so,” he said. “The teams that have come down (from the Championship) have not had a long break and we're hoping that might give us an advantage.”

Support The Yorkshire Post and become a subscriber today.

Your subscription will help us to continue to bring quality news to the people of Yorkshire. In return, you’ll see fewer ads on site, get free access to our app and receive exclusive members-only offers.

So, please - if you can - pay for our work. Just £5 per month is the starting point. If you think that which we are trying to achieve is worth more, you can pay us what you think we are worth. By doing so, you will be investing in something that is becoming increasingly rare. Independent journalism that cares less about right and left and more about right and wrong. Journalism you can trust.

Thank you,

James Mitchinson