The COVID-19 pandemic took hold of the United Kingdom back in early March, with the football authorities electing to suspend the season until further notice as a result.
Three months and more than 100 days later, English football’s second tier will return this weekend in a new and unique way with matches played behind-closed-doors whilst adhering to the EFL’s strict protocols.
The Tigers’ first game back sees Charlton Athletic provide the opposition at the KCOM Stadium on Saturday afternoon – and McCann admits his over-riding feeling ahead of the game is one of excitement.
“It’s just excitement more than anything else,” he said. “The break has given us all a chance to reflect and look back on what we did well, what we didn’t do so well and where we can be better and improve.
“We’ve analysed a lot of the games and it’s been a good chance to understand and learn a wee bit more.
“It almost feels like the start of a new season again. It’s like a nine-game mini-season for us now. That is what it’s all about. It’s a fresh start and we’re all excited to be back.
“You can train as much as you want and play as many friendlies as you like, but it’s the competitive action that we all want to be involved in. Everyone is raring to go and we can’t wait for Saturday’s game.”
Focusing more on the challenge his side will face against the Addicks, McCann continued: “It’s going to be tough because every game in this league is tough. We’re the home side though and we want to set our stall out early. We want to get off to a good start.
“We feel good. We feel confident. We feel as if we’ve got our swagger back and we’ll look to do all we can to win the game – there’s no question about that.
“We’ve made sure the boys are ready for the challenge. We know what Charlton’s strengths and weaknesses are. However, the focus will firmly be on ourselves and what we have to do by playing our own game.
“But, once the players cross that white line, it’s up to them. They have to go out and deliver. Hopefully, we can do just that, put a good show on and come away the three points.”
Please remember, all remaining 2019/20 fixtures will be taking place behind closed doors but you can still watch the action live on Tigers TV. For full details, click here.