Hull City’s fate in Championship in our own hands, insists Grant McCann

Grant McCann does not believe that his Hull City players can afford to concern themselves with anything other than what they are doing, if they want to beat the drop.

Hull City manager Grant McCann. Picture: PA.

The Tigers visit Birmingham City tomorrow in dire need of a result to lift themselves out of the Championship relegation zone.

Last weekend’s demoralising 1-0 home reverse at the hands of fellow strugglers Charlton extended City’s winless league run into a 12th match and dumped them into the bottom-three.

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A return of just two points from a possible 36 has seen the East Yorkshire outfit transformed from genuine play-off contenders at the turn of the year to a club in free-fall and now among the bookies’ favourites for demotion.

Hull currently occupy 22nd spot in the second-tier standings, having garnered 41 points from their 38 games.

But, just six points separate rock-bottom Luton (36) from Charlton in 19th. And with 17th-placed Wigan only three clear of Hull, there are a whole host of clubs still very much in the relegation mix.

McCann, however, insists that what the teams in and around his side are doing is irrelevant and that only those within the City changing room can decide the club’s fate.

“We know it’s down to us,” he said.

“It’s not about who Barnsley play, who Charlton play or who Middlesbrough play. It’s nothing to do with that whatsoever. It’s what we do. It’s all about what we do.

“We have to make sure we react positively to what we did against Charlton last weekend.

“I stand by what I said after that match, for large periods of the game we were in control in terms of possession but we just lacked that killer edge and ruthlessness in front of goal. We need to get that back and be more aggressive in both boxes.

“The boys are looking forward to the remaining games though and everyone is chomping at the bit to get back out on the pitch at Birmingham this weekend,” he added.

Middlesbrough, the side directly above City in the table, attempted to arrest their own slide towards League One by replacing head coach Jonathan Woodgate with Neil Warnock earlier this week.

The appointment of a man with a proven track record in the Championship, who saved Rotherham United under similar circumstances in 2016, does not bode well for Hull though McCann insists he isn’t giving the matter too much thought.

Asked whether he expected Warnock’s arrival on Teesside to provide Boro with an immediate shot in the arm, the Northern Irishman replied: “I’ve no idea. It’s not really my concern. I’m not being rude, it’s not my concern.

“My only concern is making sure we’re okay and do what we set out to do. We’ve got eight games to stay in the division.

“Our only priority is these next eight games and making sure we get the result we need to stay in this division. Everyone is chomping at the bit and looking forward to the challenges.”

As far as the group of players who McCann is interested in are concerned, all is well with regards their fitness, if not their form.

The City head coach expects to have a full squad to pick from at St Andrews with a number of his group now somewhat closer to being considered 100 per cent.

Defender Reece Burke and midfielder Leo Da Silva Lopes were perhaps surprising omissions from the starting line-up last time out, though both are in contention for recalls against the Blues having completed a full week of training.

“Everyone has trained and we’ve got a fully-fit squad for the weekend,”McCann revealed.

“It’s nice to have the options we do now. We need to have everyone fit because the games are going to come thick and fast.”

On-loan Barnsley winger Mallik Wilks is available for the Tigers, however McCann confirmed that, at this stage, tomorrow’s game is expected to be the 21-year-old’s last game for City.

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