Hull City

McCann: Focus Is On Us

26 June 2020
Grant McCann says the focus is fully on his team rather than their rivals at the foot of the Sky Bet Championship table ahead of the final eight games of the season.

Last weekend’s home defeat to Charlton Athletic saw the Tigers drop into the bottom three for the first time in 2019/20. But, just six points separate Luton (36) at the bottom of the table from Charlton in 19th. And with 17th-placed Wigan only three clear of the Tigers in 22nd, there are a whole host of clubs still very much in the relegation mix.

McCann, however, insists that what the teams in and around his side are doing is irrelevant and that his players must concentrate on their own game as they look to find a way to end their frustrating run of form.

“We know it’s down to us,” he said. “It’s not about who Barnsley play, who Charlton play or who Middlesbrough play.

“It’s nothing to do with that whatsoever. It’s what we do. It’s all about what we do. We have to make sure we react positively to what we did against Charlton last weekend.

“Our only priority is making sure we get the results we need to stay in this division.

“People will write about us and say how many games we haven’t won for but we’ve just got to focus on the next one.

“We’ve got to take it upon ourselves and find that inner belief that we’re good enough to get out of the position we find ourselves in the table at the minute.

“Everyone wants to do their very best to keep this club in the Championship and we’re all on board with that. We’re all looking forward to these eight remaining games.

The next opportunity for the Tigers to pick up some much-needed points comes with Saturday’s trip to Birmingham City. The Blues have become the Championship’s draw specialists since the turn of the year, with seven stalemates in their previous twelve league outings – including a goalless encounter away at top-of-the-table West Brom last time out.

Reflecting on the challenge his side will face at St. Andrew’s, McCann continued: “It’s going to be a tough game. Birmingham had a really good result away at West Brom last weekend.

“They’ve got two forwards – in (Lukas) Jutkiewicz and (Scott) Hogan – who can cause anybody in this league a problem. They have a certain way of playing which is based around those two, so we know we’re going to have to be strong defensively.

“We need to stop the service to them, stop their supply and make sure we’re organised and know what we’re doing when we haven’t got the ball.

“On the other side, when we’re in possession and on the ball, we have to make sure we hurt them and try to create as many goalscoring opportunities as we can. And when they do come along, it’s important that we take them.”

“I stand by what I said after the Charlton match, for large periods of the game we in control in terms of possession but we just lacked that killer edge and ruthlessness in front of goal.

“We need to get that back and be more aggressive in both boxes. The boys are looking forward to the remaining games though and everyone is chomping at the bit to get back out on the pitch at Birmingham this weekend.”