Grant McCann has been reflecting on an “amazing year” for the Tigers and is confident the club can continue to move forwards in 2022.
The Tigers secured immediate promotion from League One as champions in May – our first league title in 55 years – and now sit 19th in the Championship at the halfway stage.
“It’s been an amazing year,” said McCann.
“The end of last season when we won the league, it’s probably one of the best years I’ve had in football.
“The disappointment of the first season in the Championship, to bounce back and win the league – and the way we did it – was a credit to everyone connected with the football club.
“The hard work and the dedication to try to make that happen was there for all to see, right through the club.
“We proved to a lot of people what we’re about – firstly as human beings, and secondly as professionals. I couldn’t have been more proud of everyone connected with the football club when we won the league against Wigan because it was a phenomenal effort from everybody.
“It gave our fans something to cheer about that they hadn’t seen for 55 years; the big disappointment was they couldn’t be there.
“But it’s a year I’ll remember for a long, long time, that’s for sure.”
McCann also hailed the development of two homegrown players who have become mainstays in the team during 2021.
“The progression of the younger players here is really good but the two that stand out because they’re in the team are Keane Lewis-Potter and Jacob Greaves, and how they’ve adapted to life at this level,” McCann added.
“The first year in the Championship for Keane, we dipped him in and out a bit; he had good competition in the first half of the season with (Kamil) Grosicki and (Jarrod) Bowen.
“He’s gone and shown people what he’s about in League One and he’s got better again as he’s moved into the Championship.
“Jacob Greaves has had a tremendous rise. We sent him on loan to Cheltenham, when I first came here, as an 18-year-old boy and he played 40-odd games in a season when they lost in the play-off semi-finals.
“The experience he had off that was outstanding and it set him up perfectly to play almost a full campaign with us at League One level. Again, he’s showing people how good he is at this level.”
After a challenging start to life back in the second tier, McCann believes his side are now on the right tracks after taking 14 points from the last 21 possible.
“Over the last seven games, we sit in a much better position in the form table and we’re looking every bit a team that can continue to move forwards at this level.
“The win at Barnsley was big and it gave the players a real sense of ‘we can play at this level’. It was a convincing win and we’ve grown from that game.
“We want to continue to improve. We want to get better and continue on that upward curve, try and be as good as we can for 2022 and see where we go.”