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McCann’s Sheffield United Verdict

18 September 2021

Grant McCann admitted his Hull City side “need to be better” after the 3-1 home defeat to Sheffield United.

Billy Sharp scored a first-half header and saw a penalty saved by Matt Ingram before John Egan’s second-half brace put the Blades 3-0 ahead, with Keane Lewis-Potter netting the Tigers’ consolation.

“We’re disappointed,” said McCann.

“We came up against a very good team, who will only get better and better, and go from strength to strength.

“Over the last three games, you can see they’re starting to adapt to the way their manager wants to play.

“For us, we’re disappointed. We can’t keep saying we had good spells in the game and some of the play was good and some of the opportunities were good, we need to be better. It’s as simple as that.

“I take accountability for it – I’m the manager. We all need to be better. We’ll go back to the drawing board and go again.”

Both of Egan's goals were headers from Conor Hourihane corners – and McCann knows his team must improve on defending dead balls.

“We’ve lost three or four games this year on set-plays and it’s the same again today,” McCann added.

“We were 1-0 down at the time (of Egan's first) but we were still in the game. The first one is disappointing.

“They’re an experienced team and Billy Sharp has got a hold of Mallik (Wilks) and let Egan run around the back. It’s good play from them but disappointing from our point of view.

“We understand there have not been many penalties or free-kicks given for those situations this year – even VAR in the Premier league has ignored it.

“We need to understand that and get better at that. We can’t let anybody block us.

“It was a frustrating moment but to concede again, off another set-play, was totally not acceptable.”

After Lewis-Potter reduced the arrears, ex-Blade Tyler Smith – who provided the assist during a bright substitute appearance – had a well-taken goal chalked off for offside.

McCann felt the goal should have stood – drawing comparisons with the penalty Sheffield United were awarded when Sharp ran clear before being brought down by Jacob Greaves.

“We didn’t do enough today but what I would say is in the first half, Billy’s run was played on by the linesman,” he commented.

“Whether he’s on or off, he’s given the benefit of the doubt to the centre forward. Matty made a really good save to keep us in the game.

“The two set-plays are disappointing but we get ourselves back in the game with a good move and a good bit of play from Tyler to set Keane up.

“Then we had a big decision, a big moment, when Tyler is level, same as Billy Sharp was, and it goes against us.

“That takes it to 3-2 with ten minutes to go and I’m not saying we’d have equalised but we’d certainly have given ourselves the best opportunity.

“They’re big calls in the game and if you’re going to give the benefit of the doubt to the centre forward, you’ve got to be consistent with it.

“I’m not making an excuse for the result but I just feel big moments in games are costing us at the minute.”

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