Sean McLoughlin was pleased to help his side through to the last 16 of the Papa John’s Trophy as Hull City edged out Crewe Alexandra in a penalty shoot-out on Tuesday evening.
McLoughlin was part of a back line that kept a clean sheet over the course of 90 minutes before the Tigers booked their place in the next round of the competition with a 3-2 shoot-out success, and the Irish defender was happy to achieve the aim of making further progress.
“We’re delighted to be through to the next round,” said McLoughlin.
“The aim was to win the tie in normal time and we came out in the second half looking for that winning goal but it didn’t come. However, the goal was always to get through to the next round so we’re happy and we’re positive in the end.
“We struggled to get going in the first half. We were trying to nick the ball in high areas of the field but we couldn’t get going and we weren’t winning enough of the second balls. We knew it wasn’t good enough and we got a kick up the backside at half time. We needed a reaction in the second half and we probably had a point to prove. Unfortunately the goal didn’t arrive but, as I’ve said, we’re in the draw for the next round so we’re happy.”
The Tigers will find out who they face in the next round of the tournament on Thursday, with McLoughlin hoping for another chance to impress as he looks to force his way into Grant McCann’s league plans.
“Winning last night gives some of us another opportunity to go out and prove ourselves and hopefully get another win because we’re all knocking on the door,” explained the 24-year-old.
“Everybody in the squad wants to be playing in the league games but the lads that have been in the league side have done extremely well. We’re top of the league at the minute and it’s hard for the gaffer to change the team when you’re in that position so it’s understandable – I’d find it hard if I was taken out of the team in those circumstances. I’m just making sure I’m ready physically and mentally because anything can happen in football and you can all of a sudden find yourself in the side.
“Winning last night gives some of us another opportunity to go out and prove ourselves and hopefully get another win because we’re all knocking on the door.”