Blackpool v Hull City: Jacob Greaves hoping to continue education alongside Keane Lewis-Potter

A narrowly-avoided slip of the tongue gives the game away when Hull City’s Jacob Greaves talks about Keane Lewis-Potter.

“He’s one of my closest mates. I see him outside of... I was going to say school then, outside of football! I battered him last night at snooker,” says the centre-back.

When it comes to senior football and especially Championship football, 20-year-old winger Lewis-Potter and 21-year-old centre-back Greaves are still learning, even if you would not know it from their performances.

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The perceived wisdom is that a young player is a fearless player but Greaves admits Hull needed their pre-Christmas results to really show that. Now he just wants to build on four straight wins, two draws and an unfortunate and controversial defeat to Nottingham Forest, starting with today’s trip to Blackpool.

Jacob Greaves: The 21-year-old defender has impressed for Hull City this season. (Picture: Bruce Rollinson)

“Wins breed that bit of bravery going onto the pitch,” he says. “You’re not so worried about making mistakes. You can kind of see it now, we’re not fearing anyone. We’re hurting teams a lot more and being more resilient at the back.

“I feel like I was getting a bit down but the wins showed we can compete in this league, we can cause other teams problems. We were doing that at the start anyway, but to get something back from those performances was massive for us.”

Greaves and Lewis-Potter have benefited from a coach in Grant McCann who wants to give academy youngsters – particularly Hull-born ones like them – their chance, and a board that has stuck by him in a turbulent 18 months.

“Things take time, don’t they?” reflected McCann. “For us as a football club that’s always going to be part of the DNA, trying to promote youth.

Sheffield United player Billy Sharp is challenged by Jacob Greaves back in September. (Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe)

“Last season we gave eight debuts to under-23 players and it’s continued this season with Josh Hinds making an appearance against Bournemouth, (Jevon) Mills coming off the bench (at Cardiff City) and Will Jarvis playing (at home to Derby County).

“It comes from the manager speaking to the owners and saying this is where I want to go. The owners obviously agree. What’s the point of having under-23s and 18s and stuff like that if you’re not going to use them?”