Hull City: Under-fire Grant McCann confident footballing style will pull Tigers around

Grant McCann says he is being judged on performances more than results at Hull City, though that could soon change with Turkish television mogul Avul Illicali looking to complete a takeover of the club.

STICK WITH ME: Hull City manager Grant McCann Picture: Mike Egerton/PA

McCann is under severe pressure from his own fans after a start to the season which sees his newly-promoted side kick off tomorrow’s Championship game against Coventry City in the relegation zone.

But the Tigers coach says vice-chairman Ehab Allam – the key decision-maker at the club – is judging him more on performance and the expansive football he is playing, which McCann believes will yield results if he persists with it.

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The issue for him is reports in Turkey on Wednesday claimed Illicali has agreed a £30m price to buy the club with a further £20m due if they were to reach the Premier League during a timeframe which has not been made public.

WINNING STYLE: Hull City's Keane Lewis-Potter (centre) celebrates his goal during the recent Championship match with Middlesbrough Picture: Richard Sellers/PA

The club are not commenting on the reports but it is believed there is still plenty to negotiate before Illicali can make his stated plans to use Hull to showcase Turkish football talent a reality.

In the meantime, McCann is answerable to Allam.

“I’ll be judged on performance,” said the former Northern Ireland midfielder.

“Yes, I know from the outside they’ll be thinking, ‘He’ll be judged on results’ – yes, I want to win, I’m one of the biggest winners you’ll ever come across. (But) I’m big on performance and we’re big on performance at this football club.

“We know that the more we perform, the more we continue to work on the processes and the way we want to play, things will change. That’s the way we’ll approach every game.”

It has long been suspected in some quarters that Allam insists on a 4-3-3 formation. They deviated from that against Middlesbrough last month and won, only to revert back days later and lose at Huddersfield.

Whether that is anything more than an urban myth is unclear, but McCann certainly has a way he wants to play which was very successful in League One, but not yet in the Championship.

“We want to play an open and expansive game, that’s the way I’ve been at the football club since I’ve been here,” said McCann, who joined from Doncaster Rovers in the summer of 2019.

“We want to play an attractive style of football, we want to create loads of opportunities. We want to have attacking full-backs, good movement and rotation in midfield. We want centre-backs who are comfortable on the ball, a goalkeeper who is comfortable on the ball, and I think we’ve got that.

“That’s how we go into every game to play. Some games it maybe won’t quite work for us like the first half at Luton when they pressed us high and we couldn’t really get out. I think you saw it in the second half, you definitely saw it in the Peterborough game, and that’s the way we like to approach football games.”

Despite McCann’s intentions, Hull are the joint-lowest scorers in this season’s Championship with Barnsley, a place and a point behind.

McCann added that although defender Alfie Jones trained yesterday he will not be risked tomorrow after a hamstring injury.