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McCann Pleased With Performance In Gills Draw

27 March 2021

Grant McCann was pleased with his side’s performance but frustrated with the result as Hull City drew 1-1 with play-off hopefuls Gillingham.

Tom Eaves, making his first start since January, gave the Tigers a ninth-minute lead against his former club with a back-post header from Mallik Wilks’ looping cross.

But substitute Olly Lee equalised for Gillingham midway through the second half when he rifled in a corner from close range.

The hosts had numerous chances across the 90 minutes, with Eaves and Jacob Greaves both hitting the woodwork and Keane Lewis-Potter twice missing the target from George Honeyman crosses.

And the boss was frustrated his team were unable to find that second goal.

“I thought the performance was good today,” said McCann.

“The way we moved the ball, the way we created openings and opportunities, it was much more like us. We probably didn’t show that last week (against Shrewsbury) but today we did.

“It was a really good goal from Tom to give us the lead. Great play from Mallik (Wilks), great header from Tom. Then he nearly scored again to make it 2-0 when he hit the post – a little snap-shot at the front post.

“We were up against a team today that play in a certain way. You have to be manful against it, you have to defend your box, you have to pick up second balls. You have to do the basics well and I thought for the majority of the game we did.

“It was just one lapse in concentration from a corner. I actually thought it was a free-kick to us; their centre-half had two hands on Alfie Jones. The referee didn’t give it and we switched off on the second phase.

“Gillingham are good at that – they play for set-plays and long throws. That was annoying for us to concede.

“Even before that, I thought we’d scored when Greavesy hit the crossbar. Keano had a couple of opportunities. Mallik had a couple of opportunities.

“In terms of the way we were creating the opportunities, that pleased me. But it obviously didn’t please me that we weren’t able to get the second goal.

“It’s a disappointing afternoon for us given the fact we created so many opportunities and we didn’t take the three points.”

Alfie Jones was withdrawn in the closing stages following a collision with Gills keeper Jack Bonham.

On the injury, McCann said: “He may have to follow the concussion protocols, which I think is five days. He’ll be okay for next week (at Crewe on Good Friday).

“The medical team will take every step necessary to make sure he’s okay because that’s more important than anything. We’re hoping he’ll be alright for next week.”

Jones started at centre-half in place of Reece Burke, who was left out of the matchday squad, with Regan Slater brought into midfield.

McCann explained: “Reece felt his calf in training yesterday. After training, he went to see the physios, went for a scan.

“He’s got a little strain in there, which will be a couple of weeks – two, three weeks. It’s a blow for us. We had to make a change last minute.

“I thought Regan came in and did really well for us today. He was excellent. He picked up a lot of second balls. His passing was clean. His energy was good.

“It was a good performance from Regan and the fans probably haven’t seen too much of Regan because of the form of Greg (Docherty) and George but he’s a very good player.

“Hopefully, a lot of people could see that today in his performance.”

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