SPEAK to most managers and the almost universal declaration is that the league table does not matter at the end of August.
But for Hull City manager Grant McCann – in a refreshing break from convention – it most definitely does.
There is no-one worrying. We are confident in what we do and we are quite controlled in what we do.Grant McCann
The Tigers head to the capital in 20th place after one win in their opening five Championship matches under the Northern Irishman.
It represents a disappointment to him, while adding the caveat that a sense of panic is not in the equation for Hull, who have started a second-tier season in low-key fashion for the third consecutive campaign.
McCann, who has stressed the need for his side to be more clinical, said: “The league table counts all the time. We are under no illusions that we have not won enough games, but we are five games in and there is no panic here.
“There is no-one worrying. We are confident in what we do and we are quite controlled in what we do.
“We stay level. No-one is throwing toys out of the pram. We are confident in the group and we know there is just a little bit missing. Like converting the 20-odd chances we had at Preston, for example.”
After away league visits to two of the Championship’s footballing sides in Swansea and Brentford, the narrative will shift for Hull against a side who will provide a direct and physical examination in Millwall.
McCann is urging his side to be brave on the pitch and take responsibility as he seeks to remedy a four-match winless sequence in all competitions.
He said: “It is always a tough place to go – me being an ex-West Ham player as well, I used to get a bit of stick when I was playing.
“They get the place rocking and play in a certain way. We know it is going to be hostile, but we want to make sure we are brave enough to get on the ball and play.
“We have got to have players who are brave enough to get on the ball and make things happen. And when we get our chances, we (must) take them.”