Hull City

McCann Frustrated By Set-Piece Goal

18 January 2020
Grant McCann cut a frustrated figure on Saturday as Hull City slipped to a 1-0 defeat away at Derby County.

Matthew Clarke’s second-half header from Tom Lawrence’s corner proved to be the difference between the two sides at Pride Park, and the Tigers’ Head Coach was disappointed with the manner in which his side conceded.

“It was very similar (to the Fulham defeat). We lost the game on a set-piece,” said McCann.

“It’s frustrating because defending set-pieces is something that we pride ourselves on and work hard on in training,” he said.

“There have not been too many occasions that has happened this season at all but to do so today was frustrating.

“As with every goal you concede, there are always two or three things that could be done better.

“We had three of our biggest players in the box – Ryan Tafazolli, Josh Magennis and George Long – in and around (Matthew) Clarke and he managed to get a free header in our six-yard box. That’s unacceptable – it’s as simple as that.

“We all take responsibility when we concede a goal though. We should’ve defended better as a team. But we’ll learn from it and get better at it – we’ll make sure we get better at it.

“The game in general – it was probably a tale of two halves. I thought we were the better team in the first half and probably had the better opportunities.

“I was pleased with the way Kane and Irvine were playing higher up the pitch. They were pressing and causing them problems and they struggled to break through the lines because our shape was good.

“Derby changed their shape a little bit in the second half, playing Rooney up front with Waghorn, and came into the game more. They were more direct and stopped the flow of the game.

“Neither side had too many chances but, in the end, we’ve been done by the set-play.”

The loss saw the Tigers fall to successive league defeats for the first time since October and left them five points adrift of the play-off places. It also means McCann’s men have now lost as many games as they’ve won in 2019/20, adding to the frustrations of the Northern Irishman.

“The Championship is a league of fine margins but what I’ve said to the boys is that we’ve lost 11 games and that’s not good enough,” he added.

“Yes, we’ve won 11 but losing 11 is not good enough. We’re in a position where we can respond with 18 games to go and we’ve still got the belief, but to lose 11 games is disappointing. We’ve got to address it.”