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Smallwood Ruled Out For The Season

9 February 2021

Captain Richie Smallwood has been ruled out for the rest of the season, Head Coach Grant McCann has confirmed.

The 30-year-old was withdrawn in the first half of Saturday’s match at Burton with a knee injury.

“It’s not good,” McCann said. “We’re going to be missing Richie for the rest of the season, which is unfortunate.

“It’s a blow for us. It’s his medial ligament in his knee."

Asked if the midfielder will require surgery, McCann replied: "At this present time, no. He’s going to see a specialist on Thursday so I'll be able to give a better update after that.”

McCann was speaking after Hull City’s goalless draw with leaders Lincoln City at a wintry KCOM Stadium – the Tigers’ first scoreless stalemate in the league since November 2018.

Keane Lewis-Potter hit the bar inside the opening minute and missed a good second-half opportunity, with Greg Docherty twice firing wide.

And McCann was pleased with a performance he felt merited all three points.

“Performance-wise, we were excellent,” said the boss.

“We’ve taken the game to the league leaders tonight again. That’s two games (against Lincoln) where I feel we’ve been the better team in both.

“Obviously frustrated we never got the goal, with the amount of opportunities we created.

“In terms of our general play, I thought we were excellent. Particularly first half, they struggled to cope with the formation and how we were playing.

“It’s disappointing we didn’t get that goal to win the game, which I thought we deserved.”

The Tigers have failed to score in their last two league matches but McCann is confident the goals will come again.

“You get spells like that in a season,” McCann commented. “Unfortunately for us, it’s happened in the last two games.

“The performance level was very good and that’s all we can go off.

“We know we’ve got forwards, particularly the three that finished the game, that are right up there in terms of most goals scored as a front three in the division, in Mallik (Wilks), Keane and Josh (Magennis). There’s more to come from them for sure.

“We’re right up there in terms of the highest goalscorers in the league. We’re very good defensively.

“We’ll stay positive. We know we’ve got a very good team here. We’ve got a good squad.

“We’re creating opportunities. We’re playing good football. It’s just a matter of time before we take those chances and get back on the horse.”

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