George Honeyman kick-started his Hull City career at the weekend after a slow start to life in East Yorkshire.
The midfielder joined from Sunderland in August, but it took him until Sunday’s game at Queens Park Rangers to get off the mark.
The 25-year-old scored the Tigers’ equaliser in his ninth start for the club, and from there they went on to win 2-1.
Manager Grant McCann was delighted because of the attitude Honeyman has shown to being out of the team. Rather than being bitter, he made sure he got better.
McCann was pleased to see the former Sunderland man’s persistence finally pay off.
“George has had to be patient because of the form of others but I was delighted for him to get his goal,” said McCann. “He came to see me in my office – and I hope he doesn’t mind me saying this – and told me that he needed to have a hard look at himself because he didn’t feel as though he was showing what he’s capable of.
“Now that’s not me calling him in and telling him that, it was him telling me. He told me that I’d see a different person and I have over the last two or three weeks.”
It was just Honeyman’s second start since mid-October but with injuries starting to bite at Hull, it was important he stayed sharp and motivated. Fortunately, that was never an issue with the former Sunderland captain.
“He trains excellently every day,” commented McCann. “We brought him to the club for his energy and because we know he is a real asset to the team.
“He fully deserved his goal against QPR as a reward for being patient and waiting for his opportunity. Hopefully, he can kick on now.”
McCann has a problem at left-back today after Callum Elder and Stephen Kingsley picked up hamstring injuries in successive matches. Elder came off injured against Nottingham Forest on Boxing Day, and his replacement succumbed against QPR.
“It looks like a hamstring injury for Stephen – I’m gutted for him,” said McCann. “It didn’t look too good for him coming off. He was in tears a little bit. He’s not having much luck with injuries.”
McCann had talked up Brandon Fleming in the build-up to the Loftus Road game, but also has the option of switching right-back Eric Lichaj to the opposite side of the back four.
Hull plan to be busy in the transfer window, even though McCann is determined to fight off Premier League interest in 16-goal Jarrod Bowen.