At home with... Hull boss Grant McCann
Sky Sports exclusive: Hull boss Grant McCann discusses play-off heartache, losing Jarrod Bowen in the January transfer window and much, much more
Last Updated: 15/06/20 9:44am
Grant McCann discussed a wide range of topics as Sky Sports joined the Hull manager at home.
Gary Weaver and Lee Hendrie spoke to the Hull boss about play-off heartache, losing Jarrod Bowen in the January transfer window and much, much more.
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On losing Jarrod Bowen and Kamil Grosicki in the January transfer window…
"Initially it gives you a sense of pride that you've done something right with these players, for example with Jack Marriott at Peterborough or at Doncaster with John Marquis going to Portsmouth. My advice to players is for them to try and be the next one. That's always been the way I think as a coach, so can we create more of these players that the club can sell on for many millions of pounds for years to come.
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Bowen and Grosicki were two of the best wide players in the league and their stats backed it up, so to lose them was difficult. When Jarrod said he wanted to leave, I could see it in his eyes in my office. I don't think anyone was going to stand in his way to go and fulfil his dream of playing in the Premier League. It did have an effect on the group and if you add that to the injuries that we had, it definitely hit the group and affected us.
"Jarrod is an exceptional talent. One great thing about him is his everyday behaviours that people don't see. They see him on a Saturday and what he does on the pitch but during the week he's so robust, never misses a training session and is always the best trainer. He's a really humble boy and I've got no doubt that he's going to go on to bigger and brighter things. Who knows, he might even get an England call-up one day."
On leaving Doncaster following last season's play-off heartache…
"It was a very difficult decision. I went on holiday a couple of weeks after the play-off defeat to Charlton and I don't think I spoke to my wife or my parents for about a week - I just felt so low because I felt we were going to do it. Marquis scored so late to take the lead in the tie but then to concede maybe two minutes later and lose on penalties is the worst way for it to happen. I just felt sick. But I got back to work straight away and brought three players in to Doncaster before Darren Moore went there, so I had no intention of leaving and I was ready to have another push the season after.
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"I'm a very ambitious person and I want to see how far I can go in my managerial career so to take the step into the Championship, where I wanted to be with Doncaster, with Hull reminded me of the Doncaster challenge when I went in there and people were writing me off. I thought I could go in and prove a point that we could achieve more than people expected of us. I'm really enjoying the challenge at a tremendous club."
On making the transition from player to manager…
"When I got to about 25/26 I started thinking about training sessions and started asking questions to managers and coaches. When you're a player, you don't really enjoy the sessions and you walk off the training ground questioning what you've just done. It made me start to think that football doesn't last forever. When I went to Scunthorpe I started to ask Nigel Adkins a lot of questions because I had huge respect for him and then, when I went to Peterborough, I learned so much from Darren Ferguson.
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"Coming to the end of my contract there I was starting to coach, working on my A Licence and then I realised this might be the next step for me. Management wasn't really on my mind, it was more coaching and helping but the way it panned out, I was thrown into the deep end at Peterborough and it was probably the best transition for me to be assistant to two different managers and then move into the management game myself."
On adapting to life in England after leaving Belfast…
"I wanted to come home the first year I was at West Ham. I was staying in digs and I was so homesick and I didn't enjoy it. To be honest, self-doubt was telling me I wasn't good enough to be there. I saw older pros like John Hartson, Iain Dowie, Julian Dicks and I thought there was no chance I was ever going to get into the team.
"My mum and dad were the ones who kept me there. Once a week they'd phone me and tell me it would be a waste of time to come back, the Troubles were happening in Northern Ireland and I wouldn't want to get sucked into it. I ended up staying and the second year I improved but that initial year was the making of me because I could easily have just gone home."