Hull City head coach Grant McCann on a tearful ride to promotion

DURING every successful promotion journey, there are usually a few tears shed along the way.

CELEBRATIONS: Hull City's players lap up Mallik Wilks's winning penalty at Lincoln.
CELEBRATIONS: Hull City's players lap up Mallik Wilks's winning penalty at Lincoln.

It is no different for Hull City, who are justifiably basking in the glow of returning to the Championship at the first time of asking after Saturday’s League One victory at Lincoln City.

After the club’s descent into freefall in the second half of last season, the polar opposite in terms of emotions were prevalent at Sincil Bank at the weekend - more especially for those players and staff who went through the mill in 2019-20 and suffered badly.

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A few tears of joy were no doubt wept, following on from a few some weeks earlier.

That fact that no supporters or family members have been able to be present during what has turned out to be a redemptive campaign has been also tough for City.

A video package of goodwill messages from loved ones was put together by the club ahead of the Tigers’ final key run games and it further helped to solidify bonds between the group - with an emotional message from the club’s legendary former promotion-winning captain in Ian Ashbee helping to further strengthen the players’ resolve to complete the job.

Head coach Grant McCann said: "We wanted to make sure we put it right this season.

“It has been hard for everyone as our fans and families have been unable to come and see us at all at the games.

“We made a video for the players with five games to go, which the club were brilliant with and we got together all the friends and families who sent in little messages to say: ‘Good luck for the next five games’. Ian also sent us a lovely message to wish us luck for the five games as well.

“That little message at that time brought tears to the room. It is crazy; people don’t get to see their families at games and you could see how much it means for everyone for us to get over the line. So I am delighted for everyone.”

For a number of homegrown players such as defender Jacob Greaves, promotion meant that little bit extra and something that they will look back at in the years to come with an enormous sense of pride.

Cottingham-raised Greaves, whose father Mark played for the club, said: “We have kind of got a picture with all the Hull lads and Mallik (Wilks) seems to think he is a Hull lad sometimes. He is Leeds born and bred and (I) think he wants to be from Hul!.

“But to just look around and see the amount of lads from Hull who have watched Hull growing up is amazing really and credit to the staff who have brought these players through from the academy and up here.”