Hull City

Talking Points: Grant McCann Press Conference

03 October 2019
Grant McCann spoke to the media at the Club’s Training Ground this afternoon ahead of Saturday’s Sky Bet Championship clash with Huddersfield Town at the John Smith’s Stadium.

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

On whether he’ll rotate his squad for a third game in seven days…
Possibly – we’ll have to wait and see. Playing three games in a week is never easy in what is a demanding league, but I’m also mindful that the group is in good form. We’ll make a call on that over the next couple of days. We have a fit and robust group. That is something we focused a lot on when we first came in, and I think they’ve shown that over the last few games. All the boys are in a good place and are looking forward to our next game.

On Tom Eaves…
I was pleased for Tom – really pleased – after Tuesday night’s game. People don’t see what he does on the training ground. He works so hard every day and to see him get his reward for that against Sheffield Wednesday was nice. What we’ve seen over the last few games when he’s played is that he’s getting the chances now, whereas that maybe wasn’t the case in the first few. I saw his interview after the Wednesday game and it was clear to see that he was over the moon with his goal. But, today, he was calm again and trained well. He’s definitely in contention.

On Brandon Fleming’s performances in the last two games…
He’s been good. He played against some very good players in the Cardiff and Sheffield Wednesday games and handled himself well. He’s tough, he doesn’t give up and he’s aggressive. I’m pleased for him because he knows he made a mistake against Preston when he didn’t inform anyone that he was feeling ill before the game. He’s learnt from that mistake though. He’s a young boy and he’s come back ready to prove a point. He kept Stephen (Kingsley) out of the team on Tuesday night and it’s his shirt to lose. The young boy has done well. He’s deserved his opportunity and he’s taken it.

On his side’s start to the season with ten games played…
I feel we should be higher than where we are but we cannot afford to dwell on that. We know we should have probably won another couple of games – but we haven’t and we’ve given some cheap points away. We know what we’ve done wrong, but the good thing about this group is that everyone is willing to learn and listen in order to get better. I don’t think we can reach the points target that was set (for the first 12 games) but we won’t be far from it if we win the next two. If we can do that, it’s a good start. All we can do is look forward and continue to build on the momentum we’re showing at the minute. Now, we have to make sure we sign off for the international break on a positive note. We’ve had a real stubbornness about us in the last few games. We’ve been organised and looked good on the break, which we need to show again at Huddersfield. Since Danny (Cowley) has gone in there, they’ve looked more organised, especially in their last two games. It’s going to be very tough to break them down. I think it will be a good game on Saturday.

On whether his players have a better understanding of what he wants from them now…
I certainly hope the players have a good understanding of what I want. Like everything, things take time but I wanted to drill it into them as much as I can. It’s really early in the season still, there’s a long way to go but we just want to keep building. There’s still loads of room for improvement all over the group. Yes, we’re looking more defensively sound – but the best form of defence for me is attack and we have to keep doing that. When we score, we have to go and try to score again because it takes the pressure off us a little bit at the other end of the pitch.

On new contracts…
We’ll get Saturday’s game out of the way and start looking at one or two contracts over the international break. It’s going to be structured and I’m sure there’ll be a couple of conversations with maybe two of the players during the international break.

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