Grant McCann fired a warning to his Hull City players demanding they ‘grow up’ following a 3-1 defeat against Sheffield United, but will it be enough to change the Tigers’ fortunes amid mounting pressure on the manager?
The side slipped deeper into trouble after a convincing defeat in the Yorkshire derby against the Blades – their seventh consecutive Championship outing without a win.
Such a result leaves McCann’s men third from bottom with only five points from eight games and just one more than fellow strugglers Nottingham Forest, who appointed Steve Cooper in midweek.
“It’s not easy being a Hull fan right now,” Matt from To Hull and Back tells FansBet.
“Just like any other football fan, nobody likes losing.
“I don’t mind losing as long as I can see us performing well, but we’re not doing that either, so I’m struggling to see encouraging signs and reasons to smile when I go to a game.
“We’re not doing enough and we can’t keep opponents out of our box.
“The team is conceding far too many sloppy goals from set-pieces, simple stuff that you learn at school playground level.
“There’s just no energy going forward, there’s no creativity and it’s also bad decision making.”
Despite his side’s slide since their opening day 4-1 win at Preston, McCann has played down concerns over their profligacy in front of goal.
Two 0-0 draws against two of last season’s beaten Championship play-off semi-finalists had ended a run of three straight defeats – four if you include the penalty shoot-out loss to Wigan in the Carabao Cup – and lifted the mood somewhat around the club.
But those back-to-back points also saw McCann’s men register a fourth and fifth game without scoring which is now the club’s worst run since 1920 following the subsequent defeat to Blackburn Rovers without reply.
“Maybe we’ve been a bit naïve because of how easy it was to score goals in League One,” says Matt.
“It’s massively worrying. Perhaps we thought it would be just as easy and the step-up has been a bit too difficult for us.
😬 Only 1⃣ goal in over 🔟 hours of football…
🚪 “For me, he has to go. He’s not cutting it at this level.”
🙏 “We need somebody fresh who is not afraid to take a risk and somebody who has a plan B.”
— FansBet (@FansBet) September 23, 2021
“We came into this season as the highest scorers in League One last year so we thought we’d have quite a lot of joy.
“But if you’re a realistic person, you’d have known that our strike force had a lot to do to keep us up in this league.
“The most encouraging sign is that George Honeyman is available. He doesn’t always create all the goals, but what he does do is unlock opposition defences with a ball out wide or a drag back.
“That’s the kind of thing we’ve been missing lately, so hopefully, that will change a few things for us.”
Following promotion from League One as Champions last season, the Tigers began the 2021/22 campaign with a crushing 4-1 victory over Preston North End, filling supporters with optimism and announcing their arrival back in the second tier with a statement win.
However, the run that has followed has been a real struggle for Grant McCann’s men and, after a difficult summer off the pitch, the stress and anxiety continues on it.
McCann is a manager under pressure from a fanbase yet to take to him – despite being manager since 2019 – and is working with one of the league’s lowest budget at a club under a transfer embargo.
And with the Tigers picking up just two points from the last 21 available, the security of McCann’s place in the dugout is now under serious scrutiny.
“For me, McCann has to go,” claims Matt.
“We see the same mistakes over and over again and as a manager, it’s his job to control that and we’re not seeing that at the moment.
“At the tail end of last season, we went on a run of over 20 games with one win.
“The guy is not up to scratch and it’s nothing personal, but he’s just not cutting it at this level.
“Nobody wants to see a guy get the sack and be out of work, especially in the current pandemic.
“But we need some fresh ideas and hopefully, with all the talk of a takeover, any new owner will come in, take a quick look and bring in someone with completely new ideas.
“We need someone with initiative, someone who is not afraid to take a risk and change the game at crucial points and someone that has a plan B because at the moment we don’t have one.”
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