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Grant McCann: Being more clinical in front of goal key to Hull’s improved form

Cardiff City v Hull City – Sky Bet Championship – Cardiff City Stadium
(Image credit: Nick Potts)

Grant McCann believes Hull’s upturn in form has come from his side taking their chances after the Tigers made it four wins on the bounce with a 2-1 victory over Millwall at the MKM Stadium.

Hull opened the scoring midway through the first half when Jacob Greaves picked out the diving George Honeyman who headed the hosts in front.

The visitors levelled on the stroke of half-time when Tom Bradshaw latched on to a superb defence-splitting pass from Benik Afobe to coolly slot home.

But Hull regained their advantage to claim all three points thanks to Ryan Longman’s first goal for the club, the midfielder being the first to react to the rebound following Bartosz Bialkowski’s save from a Josh Magennis effort.

McCann said: “At this level you’ve got to take your chances and if you don’t you get punished.

“We’re taking our chances, I think we’ve played better than we’ve shown in some games this season and definitely in these four games we’ve won.

“We’ve taken opportunities that have come our way and scored first in games which have helped us.

Bradshaw’s leveller saw Hull concede for the first time since their 1-0 loss at West Brom on November 3 – a span of 336 minutes without letting a goal in.

“It’s the first time we’ve conceded in three games and we showed that real edge about us again to go and try score again so that’s pleased me but most importantly the three points,” McCann said.

“Pressure is only materialised from the outside, on the inside it doesn’t happen, we are very much as one, as a group and always have been.”

McCann admitted his side felt a bit deflated heading into the interval after Millwall equalised in the dying moments of the first half.

He said: “The changing room was a bit down at half-time but I said we can’t change that, it’s gone, let’s see if we can start the second half well.

“We had to be strong at the end, when Millwall brought (Matt) Smith on, they’re dangerous in terms of balls coming in the box. He’s phenomenal in the air so we had to be good with second balls and most of the time we were.”

Millwall boss Gary Rowett felt his side did not do enough to pick up three points and, like McCann, highlighted the importance of making the most of their opportunities.

He said: “I don’t think we quite did enough to go and win the game. We created chances, had a lot of control, a lot more possession.

“We’ve got to take our chances and be ruthless and that’s something we haven’t done often enough this season.

“We conceded two very poor goals from our perspective, I’m sure Hull will see it slightly differently.”

The result means the Lions’ winless streak has stretched to four games but Rowett insists he is not worried about his team’s performances.

“You have to move on quickly in the Championship. I’m disappointed, annoyed, frustrated but it isn’t going to win us the next game,” he said.

“You can flip a statistic any way you want and in the last 15 games only Fulham and Bournemouth have had more points than us so I don’t think we’re in a bad position.

“I think we have drawn games that we should not have, I don’t think we look at that necessarily, I look at today in isolation and do I think could we have done a little bit more in certain areas of the game? Yes.

“So we have to work incredibly hard in the week to make sure we put that right.”

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