All of the goals came in the first half as Jon Toral set the ball rolling with a header inside the opening 19 seconds before David Milinkovic added a second just six minutes in. Ryan Tafazolli completed the scoring just before half time to leave McCann to reflect on a job well done.
“I thought we were excellent for large periods of the game and we were really comfortable in the first half. Our first half performance has won us the game tonight,” said McCann.
“The second half was more difficult and we knew that there would be a reaction from Tranmere. They have a real winning mentality here, especially at Prenton Park where they have been really strong. We saw that in the second half and they tried to force us back a bit and we needed to get to grips with that.
“We fielded a side with a youthful look about it and the group has worked really hard at how we want to play through pre-season. We’ve had three or four come into the group late in the window but I thought they handled themselves really well tonight and that was really pleasing to see.
“We’re pleased to get the job done here and to come through hopefully unscathed in terms of injuries.”
There were a number of standout performers in the Tigers’ ranks on the night and McCann admits part of his team-talk was for the group to give him selection headaches moving forward.
“If I was the Tranmere manager looking at the team-sheet an hour before kick-off part of the talk would have been ‘they’ve made 11 changes, they’re not taking us seriously’, but we took this very seriously,” explained McCann.
“We have that strength in depth here now and every single one of the players involved from the start is fighting for a place in the team at the weekend. I’m delighted with that.
“We picked up our first three points on Saturday and now we’re into the next round of the cup. Winning is a habit and we don’t just win on a Saturday or a Tuesday, it’s about the work we do on the training ground every day.
“We’re starting games really well and we’ve scored early in each of our three matches so far. We need a bit more control in the second half, but we’re getting there.”