Gillingham v Hull City - Promotion is the target for Grant McCann

Grant McCann’s objective for 2020/21 is a simple one. He wants to lead Hull City straight back to the Championship.

Hull City manager Grant McCann (Picture: PA)

The Tigers dropped out of the second tier following a staggering plummet down the table during the second half of last season, a run of form which saw them win just once from New Year’s Day onwards.

But, McCann is determined to put the disappointment of last term behind him and try and put smiles back on faces in East Yorkshire.

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“The aim is to try and bounce back, to try and get promoted. The aim is to try and get back to the Championship,” he said.

“There’s no point in us going into the season saying ‘We’ll be happy to finish mid-table and if we push for the top six then we’ve done okay.’ That’s not me and never will be me.

“You’ll see a squad that’s determined to bounce back. You talk about the players from last season and they’re all hurting from everything that went on,” he said.

“They’ve got a real determination to bounce back and prove people wrong. To try and get back to the level we were at.

“I feel as if we’re recruiting very well in terms of players who know this division very well and know what it takes to win.

“We want to have that culture now. It’s very difficult to break the culture we had at the back end of last season but to kick it off last week with a win, albeit on penalties, was a good start for us.

“We have to make sure we have a really good season and make sure we’re around those automatic promotion places.”

City begin life back in League One on the road at Gillingham this afternoon and McCann is expecting a tough examination.

“It’s a difficult game,” he added.

“Gillingham are strong at home and if it hadn’t got shut down last season I’d have fancied them to push for the top six.

“They’ve recruited well, brought in some good players. They’re a handful, two big lumps up front.

“It’s going to be tough. Steve Evans’s teams are always physical and determined to win. We’re looking forward to it. We want to go there and come away with three points.”

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James Mitchinson