Herbie Kane’s free-kick cancelled out Britt Assombalonga’s penalty inside a frantic opening period before a scrappy contest was finally settled by Wilks’ close-range finish in stoppage time.
The three points saw the Tigers move up to 19th in the Championship table, ending a frustrating 13-game winless run in the process.
“It’s a big win. There’s no getting away from it with six games to go now until the end of the season,” said McCann.
“It wasn’t pretty. It wasn’t a great spectacle, really. I think both teams were on edge a little bit. The ball was in the air a lot. I think the ball had a bit of a migraine at the end, if I’m honest.
“But listen, when you’re playing against a Neil Warnock team who want to get the ball forward, I thought we defended very well.
“It’s never easy to come back from 1-0, especially here at the KCOM where we’ve not had the best of results.
“The character of the group to come back from the early disappointment was pleasing to see. We levelled the scores with a great free-kick from Herbie Kane, which I was really pleased with, and then the game was just a bit nip and tuck.
“It was who was going to switch off from a long ball or a second ball and fortunately for us we got the winner.
“I was pleased with the determination, fight and heart shown by the players. It was always going to be a tough game this evening against Boro side that has some real quality but I think, in the end, we deserved to win the game.
“It’s an important win for us, it really is, and it’s a good response from the boys to go two games unbeaten after the Charlton game, so we’re pleased.”