The best is set to come from Hull City, despite winning six of their first eight league matches, Grant McCann believes.
City’s unbeaten home record came to an end on Saturday when promotion rivals Peterborough snatched a fortuitous 2-1 victory at the KCOM Stadium, courtesy of Siriki Dembele’s deflected effort 15 minutes from time.
In a game where the Tigers created the better of the chances, McCann was a tad frustrated at his side’s failure to get what would have been a crucial second goal, after Mallik Wilks fired the hosts in front before the break.
The Tigers’ inability to net a second always left the door ajar for Posh, who were much improved in the second half after boss Darren Ferguson made a tactical tweak at the break, and it’s that profligacy that has been a regular theme thus far this term, while the frequency of Joe Ward’s crosses into the City box ended up causing serious problems.
“It’s a tough league, it’s our own doing. We’ve let a cross come in, we’ve let somebody free in our box which is a shame,” McCann said.
Hull City are embarking on a new era in League One, with the side looking to find their feet once more.
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“The second one, I don’t know he’s got free on the edge of the box and how it’s managed to squirm over Matty (Ingram), I need to have a look at it.
“We need to keep learning – and we need to learn from this. We need to have a look at it over the weekend and put it to bed on Monday when the boys see it and hopefully react on Tuesday at Bristol.
“We want to be better, of course we do.
“On the whole, we’ve been good. To be honest, I thought (Peterborough) was one of our better games in between both boxes.”
Wilks’ fourth league goal of the campaign threatened to see City well on their way to a fourth straight home win, before Jonson Clarke-Harris crept in between Jacob Graves and Reece Burke to head United level, but the game could have been out of sight, had those early chances been taken, McCann says.
“When I say that, I mean our build-up play and how we got to the final third.
“Again, we didn’t get that killer goal, the second goal that we needed to put us more in the ascendency.
“We’ll continue to improve and I know for a fact that this team is going to get better and better as the season goes on and that’s one thing that pleases me.”
While some fans were critical of left-back Callum Elder for his part in both Posh goals, McCann refused to lay the fault at his door, instead preferring to share the blame around his side.
“It’s not aimed at full-backs, stopping crosses, it’s aimed at everyone,” McCann said of his annoyance at not stopping crosses. “Sometimes our midfielders whether Doc or George might be out there, Keano or Mallik – we need to be more aggressive.
“It’s not very often we get free deliveries into people’s boxes or free runs, we’ve got to be better – it’s not about pinpointing anyone, it’s as a team that we need to be better at defending crosses and stopping crosses.
“That was highlighted at Fleetwood and it showed again here, so we need to keep working on that.”
“We want to be right up there in this division and this has been a good learning curve for us, in terms of the goals we’ve conceded.
“Defensively, we need to be better – on the whole, I can’t really grumble in terms of what we’ve delivered up to this point, we need to keep pushing on, we need to keep getting better and I have no doubt that this group will because they’re a really good group.”