Tom Huddlestone could return to Hull City this week

Richie Smallwood: Enjoyed his best match for Hull City. Picture: Getty ImagesRichie Smallwood: Enjoyed his best match for Hull City. Picture: Getty Images
Richie Smallwood: Enjoyed his best match for Hull City. Picture: Getty Images
Hull City manager Grant McCann dedicated his side’s winning return to the Championship to their travelling fans, after they thrashed Preston at Deepdale.

Last season’s League One champions fell behind to Emil Riis Jakobsen’s instinctive eighth-minute finish but Keane Lewis-Potter latched onto Richie Smallwood’s flick to equalise 10 minutes before the break.

The hosts stepped up a gear after the restart with Tom Barkhuizen and Ched Evans both testing Tigers goalkeeper Matt Ingram. However, on the counter-attack, Smallwood created an angle on the edge of the area and fired a deflected drive past Daniel Iversen.

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As Preston pushed forward, Hull enjoyed more success in front of goal and Josh Magennis and Andy Cannon netted late on to ensure a happy trip home for the away supporters.

McCann said: “The fans were excellent for us today, right from the start. It is so important to have them back in grounds.

“I think over 2,000 of them travelled across in total and that is brilliant. To be able to go over and celebrate with the fans at the end of the game was great.

“I am so pleased with the performance and the lads deserved this result on their return to the Championship.

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“All the players gave their all out there but our captain Richie Smallwood was excellent all game. I told him that I thought it was his best ever performance in a Hull shirt.

“I think he and a few others have something personal to prove in this division and they’ve made a strong start.”

There could be further good news for Tigers fans in the coming days as McCann revealed the Yorkshire side are holding talks with former midfielder Tom Huddlestone early next week.

He added: “His future is something we are looking at and we want him here.

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“We will sit down for talks on Monday but we know we’re not the only club interested in him.”

Frankie McAvoy’s first match as permanent Preston North End manager did not end in the manner he would have wanted, although his hopes of improving last season’s miserable home record looked promising in the early stages.

Preston North End: Rudd (Iversen 13), Storey, Lindsay, Hughes; Barkhuizen, Ledson, Browne, Whiteman (Johnson 70); Cunningham (van den Berg 46), Evans, Jakobsen (Potts 46). Unused substitutes: Bauer, Rodwell-Grant, Thomas.

Hull City: Ingram, Coyle, Jones, Greaves, Emmanuel, Smallwood, Docherty; Wilks (Matthew Smith 80), Moncur (Cannon 90); Lewis-Potter (Scott 90), Magennis (Eaves 89). Unused substitutes: Bernard, Baxter, Fleming.

Referee: G Ward (Surrey).

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