The Tigers’ fate was sealed on Wednesday evening when they were beaten 3-0 by Cardiff City in the Welsh capital courtesy of goals from Junior Hoillet, Sean Morrison and Danny Ward, ensuring League One football will be staged at the KCOM Stadium next season for the first time since 2005.
Reflecting on the disappointment, McCann said: “Tonight’s defeat obviously confirms it but it’s been a tough five or six months for us. The mood wasn’t good in the dressing room after the game whatsoever as you would expect.
“It hits and hurts everybody. I’ve got a group of staff that work so so hard every single day. The boys have given us everything but we’ve just come up short.
“Yes, it’s disappointing. Yes, it hurts. But, we’ll bounce back from this. We will reset, regroup and go again. That’s what we’ve got to do and exactly what we will do.
“We’ll build a team for next season. There are 18 of these boys contracted for next season and recruitment will be key for us now to build a squad and team that is willing to win, fight and work hard to get ready the challenge of League One. We also need to add that little bit of quality that has been lacking a little bit in terms of goals.
“The hard work starts tomorrow for me. To get everyone on board. Have people inside the boat, rather than outside the boat. It’s about having a real strong group next year.
“All we can do now is try to bounce back as a football club and maybe press the reset button. We need a good reaction next season to try and push towards challenging towards the top end of the table.”
McCann also reiterated his desire to be the man to lead the Tigers’ bid to secure a return to English football’s second tier at the first time of asking.
“I’m here – hopefully – for the long haul,” he added. “I feel as though I know League One inside and out and I’m probably the best man.
“The support I’ve had from the owners and behind the scenes has been outstanding and that’s all I can ask for. They have been nothing but supportive on things that a lot of people don’t see. The Club gives the players and staff everything they need and we haven’t repaid them in terms of performances.
“Now, we’ve got to repay them for that next season and get this club back into the Championship. I’ve got belief that we can bring a strong and robust group into the Club, adding to the boys we’ve already got here.
“I’m already looking forward to the challenge of trying to get this club back into the Championship and beyond. Of course, it’s going to be tough. League One is a tough, tough division and we’ve got to be ready for that.
“I understand the fans’ frustration but I’ve got a burning desire inside me to have a push next year. Everyone has to take responsibility and we will over the next week or two weeks. We’ve started discussions already about next year.
“I’m hopefully going to have another 25 years in this game and I’ve got to take the bad seasons with the good seasons and learn from them. That’s what makes people stand up and have a good career in this game.”