Hull City v Preston North End - Smarter approach required from Tigers’ Josh Magennis

Hull City's  Josh Magennis (left) in action for Northern Ireland against Germany's Jonathan Tah. Picture: John Walton/PA
Hull City's Josh Magennis (left) in action for Northern Ireland against Germany's Jonathan Tah. Picture: John Walton/PA
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HULL CITY manager Grant McCann has told striker Josh Magennis not to curb his natural aggressive tendencies – just be smarter.

The Northern Ireland international returns from a four-match ban this evening after being heavily punished following a red card in the 2-1 loss at Nottingham Forest last month when he was penalised for an ugly tackle on Ben Watson – his second dismissal of the season.

Hull City manager Grant McCann. Picture: Richard Sellers/PA

Hull City manager Grant McCann. Picture: Richard Sellers/PA

Magennis was also sent off at Millwall back on August 31,

Despite his time out of the side at league level, the Bangor-born player was still utilised by his country in their recent internationals against Holland and Germany, two games in which he showed strength and belligerence, but stayed out of trouble.

McCann said: “It was nice of him to get the two games in the international break and I spoke to Michael O’Neill actually leading into the first game and said that he has been playing some Under-23’s games and doing some extra training and that if he wanted to use him, then he would be fine.

“Now we just need to keep him free of suspension and it is probably a case of him trying to be a bit more cuter.

Now we just need to keep him free of suspension and it is probably a case of him trying to be a bit more cuter.

Hull City head coach, Grant McCann

“I am not trying to take any aggression away from him as that is the way he plays. I think he has been unfortunate with the two red cards – with the same referee.

“He was excellent at Forest and I watched him against (Virgil) Van Dijk and (Emre) Can and he is a strong boy. He will be a big player for us, but we just need to keep him on the pitch now.”

Tonight, Hull face a Preston side who are proving surprise packages in the promotion stakes.

McCann admits that North End represent a benchmark to follow with their success, undermined by canny management, shrewd acquisitions and strong togetherness and organisation.

McCann added: “It is similar in a sort of way to what we are trying to do here with players coming through from League One and League Two with a real hunger, desire and work ethic.

“They don’t spend fortunes and recruit very well.

“They are almost a benchmark for the likes of us to try and follow and get to that level.”

Last six games: Hull LWWWLD; Preston LDWWWL.

Referee: J Moss (West Yorks).

Last time: Hull 1 Preston 1, October 20, 2018; Championship.