Hull City

Talking Points: Grant McCann Press Conference

25 June 2020
Head Coach Grant McCann spoke to the media on Thursday afternoon ahead of this weekend’s Sky Bet Championship trip to Birmingham City.

Here are the key points from his pre-match press conference:

On a positive week of training…
It’s been a positive week. Win, lose or draw, we always come in after a game and work hard on the training ground. That will never change. The players have been great and have reacted well to the Charlton defeat. Obviously, we were all disappointed to lose the game in the fashion we did – conceding from a set-play – but we’ve worked hard as a group this week – both on the pitch and in the analysis room and we want to go to Birmingham and produce the right sort of response. That’s the most important thing – we have to find a reaction.

On the test of facing Birmingham City…
It’s going to be a tough game. Birmingham had a really good result away at West Brom last weekend. They’ve got two forwards – in (Lukas) Jutkiewicz and (Scott) Hogan – who can cause anybody in this league a problem. They have a certain way of playing which is based around those two, so we know we’re going to have to be strong defensively. We need to stop the service to them, stop their supply and make sure we’re organised and know what we’re doing when we haven’t got the ball. On the other side, when we’re in possession and on the ball, we have to make sure we hurt them and try to create as many goalscoring opportunities as we can. And when they do come along, it’s important that we take them.

On the fitness levels of his squad…
Everyone came through the Charlton game and thankfully we’ve got no injuries to contend with ahead of going to Birmingham. We had a couple of little issues – nothing serious – in the early stages of the week but, as of today (Thursday), everything is good.

James Scott has been in training all week after the little set-back he had that required him to have an injection which I mentioned last week. Reece Burke has got another full week of training under his belt, which is good, as have one or two others that were a bit short ahead of the Charlton game as well – including Leo Da Silva Lopes, who has trained all week after recovering from illness. Everyone has trained and we’ve got a fully-fit squad for the weekend.

It’s nice to have the options we do now. We need to have everyone fit because the games are going to come thick and fast. The schedule ahead really is going to be relentless, especially so after the Middlesbrough game. It’s going to be important to keep the whole group fit because we don’t know when we’re going to need to call upon them. As we¬†all know, anything can happen in football and we’re going to need everyone to stay ready and focused.

On the need to focus on ourselves…
Our only priority is these next eight games and making sure we get the result we need to stay in this division. We know it’s down to us. It’s not about who Barnsley play, who Charlton play or who Middlesbrough play. It’s nothing to do with that whatsoever. It’s what we do. It’s all about what we do. We have to make sure we react positively to what we did against Charlton last weekend. I stand by what I said after that match, for large periods of the game we were in control in terms of possession but we just lacked that killer edge and ruthlessness in front of goal. We need to get that back and be more aggressive in both boxes. The boys are looking forward to the remaining games though and everyone is chomping at the bit to get back out on the pitch at Birmingham this weekend.

On Mallik Wilks’ future…
As it stands, Saturday will be Mallik’s last game for us. The two clubs are still trying to speak in terms of us having the option on Mallik until next Tuesday but there are no further updates to report as of yet.

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