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Interviews

McCann Previews Oxford Clash

12 March 2021

Grant McCann is predicting an entertaining game against an Oxford team he regards as one of the division’s best footballing sides.

The U’s sit two points outside the play-off positions with a game in hand heading into tomorrow’s League One fixture at the KCOM Stadium.

Greg Docherty’s first Hull City goal rescued a 1-1 draw when the sides locked horns in December, a result which left the Yellows in the relegation zone after 15 games.

Since then, Karl Robinson’s men have lost only two of 17 matches to climb to ninth, although the 2-1 derby victory at Swindon was their first win in six.

The Tigers are also in high spirits after four straight wins and McCann says his table-topping side are ready for the challenge.

“When we played them at the Kassam, they’d started the season a bit slowly and were down near the bottom of the league, but I said they wouldn’t be there for long,” McCann commented.

“They’re one of the best footballing teams in the division. They’ve got a manager who knows the league very, very well in Karl Robinson.

“It doesn’t surprise me to see the run they’ve been on over the last four or five months and how they’ve propelled themselves right onto the coattails of the top six.

“They’re a good team, they’ve got good players, play a really good style of football. They’re the best pressing team in the division.

“They’ll come to us and get after us, which in turn will hopefully open up an entertaining game.

“We know about their strengths, what they’re good at, but they’ll also know what we’re about.

“I think it’s going to be a good, entertaining game. Both teams are full of energy and full of legs throughout their team.

“It’s going to be a good game.”

Incidentally, the Tigers were also on a four-match winning streak the last time they faced the U’s.

After an indifferent February, McCann has been pleased with the “calmness” shown during the current purple patch and the way his players have handled a demanding fixture schedule.

“It’s been a good turnaround for us,” McCann commented.

“To pick up 12 points from the last four games is pleasing at this stage of the season.

“This league, all season, has been very topsy-turvy. There have been teams on good runs, then not so good runs, then they respond, then they come back again.

“That’s just the way the league has been this season. I think it’s a reflection of Saturday-Tuesday, Saturday-Tuesday constantly.

“I don’t think people understand how tough that is – physically and mentally for the players in all of the divisions, hence why you’re probably seeing results out of the ordinary at times.

“Fortunately for us, we’ve responded to a defeat at home to Ipswich with four wins.

“That’s what can happen – you can pick up 12 points in the space of no time, or you can lose 12 points in the space of no time. That’s just how the league’s gone this season.

“What’s pleased me over the last four games is the performance level of the team, the calmness and composure we’ve shown to get the results.”


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