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McCann Refusing To Look Too Far Ahead

19 March 2021

Grant McCann is refusing to look too far ahead as Hull City enter the final 10 games of the League One season.

The Tigers lead the way with 68 points – three and five points clear of nearest challengers Peterborough and Sunderland respectively, albeit both teams have two games in hand.

McCann’s charges head to Shrewsbury tomorrow on their longest-winning run of the campaign – five matches – a purple patch that has seen the Tigers score 12 goals and concede only one.

But the boss insists no one is getting ahead of themselves, with the focus simply on the next game.

“Confidence, calmness, control – these are all words that are very important at this stage of the season,” said McCann.

“What’s important is that we look at the next game. We don’t get too focused and fixated on the end goal because if you focus on that, you lose sight of what’s two inches in front of you, which is Shrewsbury.

“No one is thinking about what’s going to happen in six, seven weeks’ time. That’s for others to worry about. We don’t worry about that.

“We’ve got to focus on Shrewsbury and make sure we go there and perform.”

Shrews boss Steve Cotterill will not be in the dugout as he continues his recovery from Covid-pneumonia at home, having being released from hospital on Monday.

And McCann, who worked under Cotterill as a young player at Cheltenham, has sent his well wishes.

“I owe a lot to Steve,” McCann said. “He brought me to Cheltenham when I was at West Ham as a young boy. I needed a kick up the backside.

“I was between Under-23s football, Under-18s football and first team. I didn’t know where my career was going.

“He took me to Cheltenham and he gave me that kick up the backside I needed and accelerated my career.

“I wish him the best of health and hopefully he comes through the other side of this. I know he’s a had a tough time but I wish him the best of luck.”

Town were 23rd with just one win in 13 games when Cotterill took over in November but now sit 17th, nine points above the relegation zone.

And McCann is expecting Salop, who won 1-0 against the Tigers in December amid a remarkable upturn in form, to make life difficult for his team.

“I think it was one of Steve’s first games when they played us at the KCOM but what happened that day is irrelevant now, things have moved on,” said McCann.

“They initially started well – they were beating most teams they came up against in the first couple of months of Steve’s reign there.

“Over the past four, five weeks, there’s been a bit of a mixture in terms of results. They’ve beaten Sunderland at home, they’ve lost to Fleetwood at home, gone to Charlton and got a decent point.

“I expect a strong, experienced, defensively-organised team that don’t give up many chances and we’re going to have to work for them.

“In terms of their team shape and what team they’re going to play, that’s very hard for us to predict.

“What we do know is they chop and change a little bit. They went to Bristol Rovers, played a 4-2-3-1 and lost.

“Since that, they’ve gone back to three at the back. Whether it’s a 3-5-2 or 3-4-3, there’s different ways they can play.

“All we’ve worried about this week is making sure we perform and hopefully we can do that.”

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