What a difference a year makes in football. That rings true in the case of Hull City. From the despair of relegation to sheer joy of promotion, Grant McCann have overcome several obstacles to bring success back to the Tigers. He’ll be with a Championship Hull City next season.
His time at Hull City has come under heavy scrutiny especially when Jarrod Bowen and Kamil Grosicki departed in the middle of last season. That ultimately led to their relegation but he has overcome adversity and things are looking up for Hull.
Huge improvements on the pitch from twelve months ago and now with two games to spare promotion is secure and now the title is their ambition.
Grant McCann Overcomes Adversity to Secure Hull City Championship Comeback
Backing McCann Proved the Right Call
When Hull slumped to sixth consecutive defeats that sealed relegation to League One, there were huge calls for McCann to be sacked. That miserable run coincided with the departure of key players and severe loss of form. Their season hit a new low when Wigan Athletic put eight past them at the DW Stadium.
However, McCann was heavily backed by the board even when Hull endured struggles during this campaign. A poor December which saw the Tigers pick up just four points from five games brought heavy criticism and pressure on the manager. Huge credit to the board for sticking by McCann and he has firmly delivered what was required.
Hull have been excellent all season, making significant improvements on last season. They have a style of play which secures victories and the goals are flowing from all areas of the pitch. The club have made huge strides and the only way is up for the roaring Tigers.
A Thirteen Game Unbeaten Run Sealed Hull City Promotion to the Championship
Victory over Lincoln City on Saturday not only secured promotion to the Championship, but extended the excellent Hull City unbeaten run to 13 matches. The Tigers have won ten of those and two more victories will seal the league title.
Their terrific run has seen them collect points off several promotion rivals including Peterborough United, Sunderland and Lincoln City. The last side to beat Hull were Ipswich back in mid-February. Hull have found another gear during the business end of the season and now their terrific season could bring a trophy.
Their run to promotion has also seen the goals flow. During this 13 game unbeaten run, only Gillingham and Shrewsbury Town have stopped Hull scoring more than once. Both took a point off the Tigers which would suggest how well they played to stop the free scoring league leaders.
In total, the Tigers have scored 28 goals in their last 13 matches. The likes of Mallik Wilks, Keane Lewis-Potter and Josh Magennis have been banging in the goals. While the creative forces George Honeyman and Greg Docherty have been basking in great form behind the attack. Those two have 17 assists between them, Honeyman has 13 of those.
While the goals have flowed, defensively Hull have been equally as good. The Tigers have kept six clean sheets in their 13 match unbeaten run including four in their first five games. McCann has found a perfect style of play which gets the best out of all areas of the pitch from defence to attack.
Hull City Have Improved Across All Areas of the Pitch
When Hull City’s relegation to League One was confirmed, the team finished rock bottom, conceding a hefty 87 goals. McCann knew this area needed addressing and he has certainly fixed that.
In their 44 league games, Hull have conceded just 36 league goals. Unsurprisingly, this is the best in League One and shows the huge strides they have made at the back. Of course the quality of attack isn’t as strong but shipping 51 fewer goals is a vast improvement.
The Tigers have the best home defence in League One, shipping just 13 goals at the KCOM Stadium this season. Fleetwood Town are closest to their record, shipping 16 but that is a phenomenal record to hold.
As well as this, Hull boast the best attack in League One. The Tigers have scored 77 times, three more than closest side Peterborough United. Hull’s prolific front three Keane Lewis-Potter, Josh Magennis and Mallik Wilks have 48 between them.
Wilks has 19 for the Tigers and his contribution hasn’t gone unnoticed. He has thrived under a manager who knows him so well. It has taken time to adapt at Hull City but he has come on leaps and bounds this season, and is on his way to the Championship.
The Tigers also boast the best away record in League One. They managed just five away wins during the 2019/20 season compared to 13 this. In total, Grant McCann’s team have collected 43 points from their 22 away games. They also have the best away attack in League One. It is 48 away goals and counting for Tigers – 13 more goals than next best sides Sunderland and Oxford United.
Amazingly, after 44 games, Hull City’s home and away record are identical. 13 wins, four draws and five defeats. Only second place Peterborough have a better home record. Efficiency has been key to their success especially at home. They’ve scored just 29 home goals but, as noted earlier, have collected 13 home wins.
Huge credit must go to Grant McCann for creating a slick, efficient football team. They are going places and finally he appears to have proven his doubters wrong.
Grant McCann Deserves Huge Credit for the Job He’s Done
It would have been easy for Grant McCann to walk away from Hull City on several occasions. The sales of Jarrod Bowen to West Ham United and Kamil Grosicki to West Bromwich Albion virtually condemned the Tigers to League One. He tried to steady a sinking ship which was only heading in one direction.
While he couldn’t arrest the slide, that again, could off prompted his departure, he stuck by the club and the club stuck by him. While he has taken time to win the fans over, it cannot be underestimated how good a job he has done.
He has transformed the squad and instilled a winning formula, McCann has found a slick, efficient and stylish way of playing and has stuck by many of the players who slid down to League One with him. His transfer business has been astute and all the players have made a big contribution.
Even when the lost Hakeeb Adelakun in January, McCann quickly found an excellent replacement in Gavin Whyte. He has single handily masterminded an instant return to the second tier when many would’ve fancied others. Hull have quietly gone about their business and thoroughly deserve their promotion.
Grant McCann has overcome plenty in his two years with the Tigers. The heartache of relegation to the pure elation of promotion. He has transformed the playing squad and got a team working hard and one the fans are certainly proud off.
McCann may have one eye on next season but his sole focus for now will be collecting silverware. Two wins will do it even with Peterborough United’s game in hand. He deserves immense credit for overcoming so much struggle and criticism at Hull City and he will relishing the challenge in the Championship next season.
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