Hull City v Millwall: Grant McCann glad to see Tigers taking control to head to better place

Rewind to the start of this month, and Hull City could not buy a win.

LOOKING UP: Hull City manager Grant McCann Picture: Nick Potts/PA

Having lost five on the bounce during a wretched run which saw them manage just one solitary goal, the Tigers found themselves mired in the Championship drop zone and in danger of being caught in the same kind of tail-spin which saw them relegated from the division in 2019-20. 

For head coach Grant McCann, the picture once again appeared a bleak one, however, as worrying as the results were, the Northern Irishman remained steadfast in his belief that his players weren’t a million miles away from where they needed to be.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Performance levels had been consistently high, he insisted. Wins would come, he was certain. And the much-maligned City chief has been proved correct.

Hull City's players applaud the fans after their win at Cardiff City Stadium. Picture: Nick Potts/PA

Three games later, his team boast three clean-sheets and –more importantly – nine crucial points.

Consecutive triumphs over Barnsley, Birmingham City and Cardiff City have lifted Hull up to 19th place. Another win at home to Millwall this afternoon could potentially leave them six points clear of the bottom-three come tea-time.

Naturally thrilled – though not massively surprised – by the Tigers’ sudden upturn in fortunes, McCann is, however, insisting that his players can still do more, and still get better.

“We can improve on everything. We want to try and be better that everything that we do,” he said. “We don’t want to be standing still. Everything in our game we can do better, in and out of possession, how we go about things – we just have to continue to get better.

“We can’t just think that what we are doing at the minute is enough because it is not. This division can kick you right up the backside if you’re not careful. Performances can always be better, but at no point this season have I thought that the opposition has absolutely annihilated us.

“Maybe against Fulham, we were a little bit worried, but we’ve been in every single game and hopefuly we can continue to move forwards.”

Assessing the reasons behind City’s recent purple patch, McCann added: “We are looking strong defensively, which has helped. Keeping clean sheets means we’re not giving ourselves a mountain to climb.

“The first goal, starting well, making sure that we’re on the front foot, playing in the opposition half in the early stages of games, all helps us get control.”