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McCann: ‘We Were Very Comfortable’

7 November 2020

Grant McCann hailed a “comfortable” victory after Hull City eased past Fleetwood to reach the FA Cup second round.

Goals either side of half-time from Josh Magennis and Reece Burke saw the Tigers run out 2-0 winners against Joey Barton’s side.

“I thought we were very comfortable from the first minute to the last,” said McCann.

“I don’t think George Long had a save to make the whole game. Tactically, we were much better and we got it spot on.

“The players delivered the game plan and credit to the boys, they stuck to the task today.

“They did exactly what was expected of them and they delivered a very good result."

The Tigers opened the scoring on 31 minutes when Josh Emmanuel’s cross was flicked on by Mallik Wilks and diverted into the net by Magennis.

It was the Northern Ireland international’s third goal of the season, and McCann was full of praise for both the scorer and the crosser.

“Josh Emmanuel has got a bit of a habit at the minute,” McCann added.

“I think he’s right up there in League One in terms of crosses into opposition boxes, not just with his right foot but with his left foot.

“It was a ploy of ours to open them up. We knew their wide players wanted to stay narrow.

“We wanted to get our full-backs more aggressive, with Richie Smallwood and Alfie Jones sitting and controlling the game more, which they did. The goal has come from that.

“Richie has found Josh Emmanuel, he’s chopped on his left foot. Mallik has got the flick in the box and it’s a great finish from Josh Magennis.

“He has been excellent all season. His experience and know-how and his voice, in and around people like Keane Lewis-Potter and Mallik Milks.

"They’re benefitting from it because they’re getting their goals off Josh. It was nice for him to add a goal today for his performances.”

Burke doubled the Tigers' lead just past the hour mark when he planted home a header from Callum Elder's corner.

The goal was Burke's first in Hull City colours, and McCann revealed the centre-back has been putting in the practice in training.

“Reece is delighted,” McCann said. “He’s come close this season on numerous occasions.

"There’ve been opportunities for Reece where he’s got the first contact and it’s just gone past the post. He got a contact at Fleetwood in the league game and hit the crossbar so he’s gone close.

“He’s been working hard on that. I saw him in the gym the other day, heading a ball we’ve got dangling from the ceiling. It’s a very good height and Reece is there sprinting trying to head it.

“It’s an important part of a defender’s game. Centre-backs are jogging up there 80 yards to the opposition box. They’ve got to be aggressive and not only Reece but Jacob Greaves has had a couple of opportunities from set-plays.

“Once they get that part of their game, then they’re going to be better players for it.”

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