Hull City owner backing Grant McCann to delve into January transfer market

Hull CIty picked up a useful point at Sunderland on Saturday evening, but their failure to beat the Black Cats means that they have now won just once in six League One outings.
Hull City's manager Grant McCann. Picture Tony JohnsonHull City's manager Grant McCann. Picture Tony Johnson
Hull City's manager Grant McCann. Picture Tony Johnson

A return of five points from the last 18 on offer is certainly not promotion form, and although Grant McCann’s team remain second in the table, they undoubtedly need to add some extra quality to their ranks this month.

With winger Hakeeb Adelakun having been recalled from his loan spell at the KCOM Stadium by Bristol City, striker Tom Eaves facing a spell on the sidelines with a calf injury he picked up on Wearside and experienced Dutch defender Jordy De Wijs on the verge of signing for QPR, the Tigers’ squad is starting to look a little thin.

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Factor in the ongoing contract wrangle with homegrown prospect Keane Lewis-Potter that has resulted in him being confined to bench duty in recent weeks, and it only becomes more apparent that both strength and depth are required.

The good news for Hull fans is that head coach McCann has already sounded out a number of potential new recruits about making the move to East Yorkshire during the January transfer window.

Even better still is the revelation that owner Ehab Allam is apparently prepared to put his hand in his pocket over the coming weeks to ensure that the club is able to prize their priority targets away from reluctant sellers.

Asked if there is currently a transfer kitty available to him, the Northern Irishman replied: “Yeah there will be. Ehab is really open to that, he realises that we are in a good position.

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“I had a good chat with him the other day about a certain player who would cost money and he was open to it, but we have to be mindful that there is a salary cap and there’s only so much you can pay players these days.

“So, it’s about trying to get both sides of it right, and it’s difficult.

“We are looking to strengthen the squad, there’s no question about that. We’ve got targets in all positions, it’s about picking the right ones that we feel are going to help us. It’s not just about footballing ability, it’s about character.”

Reports regarding De Wijs’s likely departure began to circulate in the central defender’s home country over the weekend and McCann has moved swiftly to confim that the man he appointed club captain less than six months ago is indeed destined to depart.

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Having struggled for fitness as well as falling behind emerging youngster Jacob Greaves in the pecking order, the 26-year-old former PSV Eindhoven stopper has not featured for the Tigers since November’s FA Cup upset at the hands of League Two Stevenage.

“He’s been given permission to go and speak to QPR, so that’s gonna happen,” McCann said.

“I think it’s right for Jordy to move on with the emergence of Jacob Greaves. He started the season okay, but he’s been picking up little niggly injuries. His calf, he seemed to have that problem for a while but I think Jacob has taken his chance.

“He has just gone from strength-to-strength, so it’s probably the best time for Jordy to seek pastures new.

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“It’s a loan with a view to a permanent [transfer]. I’m sure there will be a fee involved, I don’t think Ehab lets anybody walk out the door for nothing.”

It was another Hull centre-half, Reece Burke, who opened the scoring at Sunderland, however his 13th-minute strike was soon cancelled out by Aiden McGeady’s header.

Eaves and Mallik Wilks both spurned a pair of decent openings apiece as the visitors created more than enough chances to have reclaimed the ascendancy, but in the end the game would finish all-square.

“Not taking our chances is probably the only disappointment for us, but this is a good point away from home,”McCann added.

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“I thought our defensive shape and organisation were excellent. We limited Sunderland to one lapse of concentration from us.

“The boys are heartened by the point. We’re disappointed we didn’t win the game because we felt as if we had the better chances, but we’ll take the point.”

Sunderland: Burge (Matthews 46); McLaughlin (Gooch 46), Wright, Sanderson, McFadzean; Scowen, Leadbitter, Power; Diamond (Maguire 76), Wyke (Graham 76), McGeady (Embleton 76). Unused substitutes: O’Brien, Younger.

Hull City: Long; Emmanuel, Burke, Greaves, Fleming (Elder 84) ; Smallwood, A Jones (Lewis-Potter 66); Honeyman, Docherty, Wilks; Eaves (Magennis 41). Unused substitutes: Ingram, Coyle, Slater, Mayer.

Referee: S Oldham (Lancashire).

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