ON the eve of what turned out to be a rare defeat for Hull City at the KCOM Stadium, Grant McCann urged his players to defend their home as if it was under threat from burglars.
Such was the gung-ho approach displayed against Blackburn Rovers, however, that at times it felt like the Tigers had left the back door wide open while taking a fortnight’s holiday in the Mediterranean sun.
Rovers, as a result, got away with a precious bounty of three points from a hugely entertaining contest that featured 25 efforts on goal, the woodwork being struck four times and Hull also missing a penalty through Jarrod Bowen.
“We have to keep going,” said defender Jordy de Wijs about City losing in front of their own fans for only the second time since the start of 2019. “We played three games quite well in the first half. But then things dropped off in the second half.
“Against Blackburn, it was not good enough at all. Good to reflect on the game. Learn from it and then forget it.”
De Wijs’s assessment, delivered within an hour of Tuesday’s 1-0 loss, may have been a tad harsh. Blackburn just about deserved the win after being equally committed to attack as the hosts across the 90 minutes.
But, on another night, City could easily have been celebrating the snaffling of three points rather than bemoaning a rare loss on home soil.
One thing that was clear from Tuesday is how McCann intends for his side to be bold.
Time after time, what felt like the entire midfield was bombing forward in support of Tom Eaves. The inevitable upshot was Blackburn also enjoying plenty of joy on the break, and particularly down the left flank where Stewart Downing was a constant threat.
“The manager has a lot of confidence in our defence,” added de Wijs when asked about the City backline often being left four-on-four when Rovers broke.
“He is not scared to play one against one. That is good for us. It means we have to be brave. Sometimes, it goes well and others you get punished.”
As for the weekend game with Bristol City at home, the 24-year-old Belgian said: “Saturday is a game we want to win. We will be trying to get the best out of it.
“Bristol are a good team and we have to prepare well. Keep our confidence high and keep going.
“They did well last season. But this is a new season with new opportunities for all of us. Different teams and different players.”