Despite doubts over his managerial abilities after their relegation from the Championship last season and at some points of this past campaign, Grant McCann guided Hull City back to the second tier at the first time of asking.
The rug was pulled from under the Northern Irishman last January when Jarrod Bowen and Kamil Grosicki were both sold on transfer deadline day without being replaced, and what followed was a catastrophic run of results which culminated in the drop to League One.
His role in the collapse was scrutinised and even though the Tigers have been in and around the top two for all of the 2020-21 season, there was a wobble between the end of January and February which saw McCann come under immense pressure from fans.
The club rallied though to win 11 of their final 15 games, securing their spot back in the Championship for next season by winning the league title.
A player who is no stranger to success with Hull in the form of Curtis Davies has praised the whole club for getting back to the Championship so quickly, but the veteran defender has reserved special praise for McCann for the job he’s done after being under a lot of pressure.
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“Fair play to them (the Allams) because getting promotion straight back shows just what a good job Grant McCann has done and the faith they showed by sticking with him,” Davies told the Hull Daily Mail.
“He took over the club in the Championship in a very transitional period where you’re going from Premier League experience to blooding youngsters and players with all due respect, are signing for the club from lower level.
“Credit to the club and I guess you have to give credit to Ehab (Allam) for sticking by him and backing him.
“The football he’s got the team playing (is good) first and foremost but ultimately it’s about getting results, it’s not all the niceties without any results, the team is playing nice football and he’s getting results so it’s been a really good season.”
Considering they were only out of the automatic promotion places for a few games in February, the hostilities towards McCann from months ago seem a bit silly.
The players proved that they were playing for him, although it does help when you have classy operators like Reece Burke and Mallik Wilks in League One.
But McCann was dealt a bad hand last year when his two star players were sold and not replaced – he could have perhaps gotten a few more results out of the side he still had at the time but that era is over and done with.
The Tigers can look forward to being back in the Championship in August and who knows – Davies might be there with them as he’s set to be a free agent and he’s been open about his desire to return to the club if he gets an offer.