Reading v Hull City: Grant McCann pondering changes at in-form Tigers

“More of the same, please” will doubtless be Grant McCann’s message to his Hull City players ahead of this afternoon’s trip to Reading.

And, after four consecutive Championship victories, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect that the Northern Irishman would stick with the winning formula he has struck upon in recent weeks, both in terms of system and selection.

But, the Tigers’ head coach does not believe in the old adage which states that a winning team should not be changed. So, regardless of what has gone before, McCann will pick the starting XI that he deems best-equipped to exploit what he perceives to be the Royals’ weaknesses.

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“Of course the results have been good for us over the last four games, but like I always say, we assess how we feel we’re going to be able to hurt Reading and that team is not necessarily going to be the same one that won the previous week. We’d be silly to think that.

Grant McCann. Picture Bruce Rollinson

“We have to look at it. We do a lot of work, our analysts work very, very hard in terms of areas of the pitch where we think we can hurt them [the opposition] and what personnel we feel might hurt them on that day.

“We can’t be naive and think ‘let’s just go again’ and not even look at Reading, let’s just try and win the game again. We don’t do that.

“We have to work diligently in terms of what we do and we have to be consistent in our approach.”

Picking a starting line-up will be less straightforward for McCann this weekend due to him having a couple of additional of options at his disposal down in Berkshire.

“We’ve had Matt Smith back on the grass and he could be available for the weekend,” the City chief added. “He felt a tightness in his hamstring against Coventry Under-23s.

“He felt his hamstring in that game, as did Tyler Smith.

“It was nothing serious. They only missed one game or so. They’re both available again for the weekend.

“It’s a bit more positive for us. Brandon Fleming has been out on the grass after nine weeks out. It’s great to see him back. Tom Huddlestone has had another good week of training.”