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McCann: Pleased to Progress

8 December 2020

Grant McCann was pleased to progress to the next round of the Papa John’s Trophy following a penalty shootout victory over Crewe Alexandra.

The Tigers prevailed 3-2 on spot-kicks after a goalless draw, with Hakeeb Adelakun scoring the winning penalty after George Long saved from Regan Griffiths and Offrande Zanzala.

“We’re pleased to go through as we set out to try to progress,” said McCann.

“We made 11 changes to the team. There were some good performances, some not so good.

“We upped the game better in the second half. First half, we weren’t great.

“It was a nothing game really. There was nobody creating any chances. We were short on that front. They were short. Both defences were on top.

“Second half, we got to grips with it a wee bit better. We showed more energy, more appetite, with some opportunities we didn’t quite take.

“We got to the penalties and I said to the players, ‘your second-half performances deserves to go through, so concentrate’.

“It wasn’t a great penalty shootout by any stretch of the imagination but we got the job done.

“George made some saves and we’re into the next round.”

McCann revealed Martin Samuelsen pulled up with his calf in the warm-up and Tom Eaves was withdrawn in the first half due to illness.

Alfie Jones is expected to be absent until the Sunderland match on Boxing Day after picking up a hamstring injury in the draw at Oxford.

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