Grant McCann staying calm as Hull move one win from promotion

Head coach Grant McCann called for cool heads as Hull moved to the brink of automatic promotion with a 2-2 draw at home to third-placed Sunderland.

Wednesday, 21st April 2021, 6:02 am

An immediate return to the Championship will be confirmed for the league leaders with victory at Lincoln on Saturday.

McCann said: “We will just try to win the game and try to be calm.

“Lincoln have had a resurgence. They’re a good team, but we’ve got to be good again.

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Hull City manager Grant McCann

“It’s just the next game. It’s a chance to go and get a result – and we know what that result will mean.

“That’s the clear objective now – for us to go and get a result.”

Hull had Josh Magennis to thank for the point as his goals twice brought the hosts back into the game.

The Northern Ireland international first cancelled out Jordan Jones’ excellent early volley with a glancing header after 28 minutes.

Sunderland were, however, superior in the first half and regained the lead after 34 minutes when Grant Leadbitter scored from the penalty spot after Callum Elder was adjudged to have handled.

But Magennis again equalised after 64 minutes, calmly heading home Mallik Wilks’ cross, to earn his side a valuable draw.

McCann said: “We didn’t start well, but credit to Sunderland – they set about us.

“It was a disappointing first goal to give away but we showed great character after that. I thought we got stronger and looked good in the second half.

“The second goal is shocking. They’ve been given a penalty when a player’s hand is in a natural position.

“I felt the game was ruined a bit by the officials as I thought they were the best two teams in this division playing. But on the balance of play, I think it’s probably a fair result.”

Sunderland manager Lee Johnson was keen to take out the positives from a performance which stopped a run of three consecutive defeats.

He said: “I think we dominated for most of the game. I thought there were some really positive performances, in spells.

“It was probably a better result for them, if you like, as we smelt the opportunity (to win).

“We gave it a go right to the end – that shows our attitude towards the game and what we’re trying to do.

“I was disappointed with both goals but you have to recognise the threats Hull have.

“We hit the crossbar two or three times and I think it shows our attitude, no matter what, to go out there and get the win.”

Reflecting upon Sunderland’s lean spell, Johnson added: “In two of those three losses we deserved to win.

“You can’t really say that after we’ve lost but at the same time, the performances weren’t that bad.

“If you look at a period of 18 to 19 games, to perform as consistently as we have and to slip up on one occasion, these things are going to happen.

“We’ve got to A; trust the philosophy, B; trust the training, and C; trust that these boys are good enough to take us to the successful place we want to be.”

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