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McCann praises trio after Rochdale win

19 October 2020

Grant McCann felt all three players who came into the side for the 3-0 win at Rochdale made an important contribution.

With Jordy de Wijs absent through illness, McCann handed young centre-back Jacob Greaves his Hull City league debut – 18 years after his dad Mark Greaves played his last game for the Club.

The 20-year-old produced an assured display in the heart of defence and the boss sung his praises afterwards.

“It was a very good performance from Jacob,” said McCann. “That was his first start for his hometown club and to keep a clean sheet, he couldn’t have asked for much more.

“His diagonals were great and it was an area where we wanted to isolate with Mallik (Wilks) and Josh (Emmanuel) on that side. He was calm, he was assured, he defended when he had to defend.

“Since he’s come back from Cheltenham, you can see the difference in him and how he’s grown up and matured and how he grasped the opportunity to play at League Two level.

“He deserved his opportunity. We’re fortunate to have three very good left-sided centre-backs.

“Jordy missed the game through illness and I had a choice between Sean (McLoughlin) and Greavesy and I went with Greavesy. I’m pleased for him.”

The other two alterations saw fit-again captain Richie Smallwood return in midfield and forward Josh Magennis, back from international duty with Northern Ireland, start up front.

Smallwood kept things ticking over in the middle of the park, while Magennis set up Wilks for his and the Tigers’ second before netting the third himself with a close-range header.

“Richie and Josh are two of our experienced players,” McCann added. “I felt we missed them at Fleetwood. We missed their experience, their know how, the positions they take up on the pitch, their communication – everything an experienced player can bring.

“Josh was very good. We toyed about starting him because he had been in three different countries in 10 days. But when I spoke to him on Friday, he was adamant he was fine and his word was good enough for me.

“Richie is very important for us. He’s the captain, the heartbeat. He picks up every second ball, keeps it simple, gives it to the players who can hurt people.

“He’s done that in his career and that’s why he’s done what he’s done, the promotions he’s won. It's all down to him knowing the game and his understanding.”

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