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Interviews

McCann: Players in a Positive Mindset

4 September 2020

Grant McCann insists his Hull City players are in a good place ahead of this afternoon's season opener away at Sunderland.

As well as looking ahead to the Carabao Cup tie at the Stadium of Light, the Tigers’ Head Coach also discussed a wide variety of topics during his pre-match press conference at the Club’s training ground on Thursday afternoon.

On a shortened pre-season…
It’s been short – three or four weeks – but we’ve had a good pre-season, though. We had a good week up in Edinburgh and the boys have worked very hard from day one. We’ve had a lot of in-house games between ourselves and two friendlies against Rotherham United. It’s been an excellent pre-season and the boys are in a good place. There’s been a real feeling of positivity in the camp since we came back.

We’ve worked very hard in terms of trying to change the culture in and around everything we do at the training ground and hopefully – in turn – that will help us to win games going forward – starting on Saturday. There are a lot of areas we’ve worked on over these last three or four weeks to try and put us in a better place and we’ll look to try and implement those from Saturday onwards. We’re looking forward to the season ahead and hopefully we can have a good one.

On the test Sunderland will provide…
It’s a tough game to start with. They’ve got a strong squad there and have strengthened well during the close season. Yes, we know it will be tough but, if we want to be challenging in and around the top end of the table this season – as we do – it will be a good marker for us to see where we are. And I’m sure Sunderland will be thinking exactly the same. A good start to the season is important and that is what we’ll aim to do at the Stadium of Light. We want to go on a decent cup run this season – whether it’s in the Carabao Cup or the FA Cup – we want to be competing in every competition.

On the demanding schedule ahead…
I know League One very well and it’s both tough and demanding. It’s going to be games on Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday now for a while with the cup ties in-between league fixtures. It’s going to be a real challenge, so we have to make sure we have a really robust group – and a strong group – that can deal with the challenges that lie ahead.

On the futures of Jordy de Wijs and Leonardo Da Silva Lopes…
Every player’s got a valuation but until that valuation is matched, and the owner wants to accept it, they stay. That’s how it is at every football club. Jordy’s here, he’s contracted for another two years – this year and another year’s option. That’s where he is.

Leo wants to leave. He made that very clear at the end of last season and we’ve had a couple of offers for him but none that match our valuation. He’s been back in this week after being ill. Leo is contracted here so until someone meets the valuation he will be a Hull City player.

We’re in no particular need to sell players. There have been offers for some of our players, well documented in terms of Leo and Jordy in particular, but nothing’s met the valuation of the Club and that’s where we are at this present time. We’ll continue to work with these boys while they’re here.

On the new salary cap in League One…
It’s something new in football and it has been difficult – but everyone in the league is in the same boat. We’ve got to be careful with our budget and do things properly. We’ve been very mindful of that when doing our transfer business. I think everyone has different opinions on it coming in. The final vote was very tight, which showed how split the clubs in League One were. For me, if the bigger clubs have and can afford to spend money then they should be allowed to do so. As I say, everyone has a different thought on it though. We are where we are with it and we just have to crack on. We have to live by our means.

On fans returning to stadiums…
It’s (EFL test events for fans returning to matches) a step in the right direction – a million percent. That’s what we all want. We want the fans back into stadiums as soon as possible. It’s been a difficult time for football clubs because of lost revenue and everything but to get the fans back will be everything for all parties. As staff and players, the fans are what drives us every week – the fans getting behind us and we can’t wait to have that again.


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