The Tigers secured an instant return to the second tier when they beat Lincoln City last weekend and could be crowned champions if they avoid defeat at home to Wigan Athletic this afternoon.
However, with the Latics fighting for their lives at the wrong end of the table and a trip to promotion-chasing Charlton Athletic to come on the final day of the season, the Northern Irishman feels that City will have to win the division the hard way.
“I think they are a good team, Wigan. Leam [Richardson] has done an incredible job there given what has happened over the past 15 or 16 months.
“They are strong. From a forward perspective, they’re good; in midfield, they’re good. Defensively, they’ve got some experience and all this has shown over the last five games, they’ve got four wins and a draw.
“I watched them against Sunderland, they deservedly beat them, so we know this is not going to be an easy game. It’s going to be very tough, probably the toughest of the season because they’re trying to stay in the division.
“To be honest, if you’d have hand-picked two teams saying ‘what are the two most difficult games to finish the season?’, you would probably say Wigan and Charlton.
“One team is trying to stay in League One, one is trying to get into the top six, so we know what we are coming up against.”
This season has been more gruelling than any that have gone before in terms of the relentless workload the Football League’s players have been faced with, but City have still managed to put an exceptional run of form together when it really mattered. The Tigers are unbeaten in their last 13 matches and have climbed into pole position courtesy of 10 victories during that period of time.
Yet, while he acknowledges that his charges have had to work extremely hard to earn automatic promotion, McCann is confident that they have enough left in the tank to finish the job and also believes that there is sufficient desire within the camp to add the icing on the cake and seal a first league title since 1966.
Asked if Hull’s players were flagging following such a relentless year, he replied: “It takes it out of you more when you’re losing, let me tell you that. When you’re winning you just want the next game.
“The boys have been desperate for the next one, they have had a good week’s training and training on Thursday was probably the best I’ve seen it all season in terms of the sharpness, the attitude the focus, so hopefully they can take that into Saturday.
“It’s been relentless, it’s been hard graft, but the players won’t drop off subconsciously [now promotion has been secured]. That’s not the type of group we’ve got, they’re really focused on the job at hand.
“Hopefully we can do it Saturday, but if we have to wait until the following Sunday then no worries.
“I think we have got the trust and belief in this group that we can do it.
“We know we are in the next division anyway, but we want to deliver the trophy.
“It hasn’t been seen here for many years and we’d love to do it for our fans, our families and everyone connected to the football club.”
Currently three points clear at the summit with only two games remaining, the Tigers simply need to better second-placed Peterborough United’s result against Lincoln City this weekend for the League One championship trophy to become their property.
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