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Grant McCann to fight on as Hull City boss as pressure builds at crisis-hit club following eight-goal thrashing

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Hull City manager Grant McCann comes to terms with his side's 8-0 defeat at Wigan Athletic.

Hull City manager Grant McCann comes to terms with his side's 8-0 defeat at Wigan Athletic.

PA

Hull City manager Grant McCann comes to terms with his side's 8-0 defeat at Wigan Athletic.

Grant McCann is fighting on as Hull City boss after the embarrassing 8-0 defeat to Wigan on Tuesday evening.

In the aftermath of drubbing, which equalled the club’s heaviest ever defeat, fans have been calling for McCann to resign.

However, the former Northern Ireland international will take charge of tomorrow’s relegation six-pointer at home to Luton Town.

The two sides are now level on points in the relegation zone, but within touching distance of safety in a tightly-packed table.

McCann knows positive results are required in the final two matches of the campaign, which concludes with a trip to play-off chasing Cardiff City next Wednesday.

He indicated in his post-match press conference at the DW Stadium, where his side had trailed 7-0 at half-time, that he would be around to lead Hull into the final two games but his long-term future remains unclear.

“I don't think that's a question I'll answer now,” he said when asked whether or not he would resign. “We've got two huge games coming up over the next week or so, so I’ll try and prepare the team to get the results."

McCann will face the media once again today to look ahead to tomorrow’s vital fixture but, having picked up only six points from their last 18 games, a stark upturn in form is required.

“The first thing I'd like to do is apologise to the fans,” he said on Tuesday.

“It's hurt us and all I can do is apologise on behalf of everyone in that dressing room. It was nowhere near good enough and I'm so, so sorry for that.

“It's not nice. We all felt embarrassed. We've got a huge game on Saturday now. This was huge but Saturday's even bigger now.

“The players know now, it's black and white for everybody, we have to beat to give ourselves a real opportunity to stay in this division.”

While McCann is now the subject of much of the fans’ frustration as they stare at life in the third tier of English football for the first time since 2005, there is still much attention being direction at the club’s owners too.

Assem Allam, who bought Hull City AFC in 2010, has a chequered relationship with supporters, from his attempts to rename the club ‘Hull Tigers’ in 2013 to the removal of concession match tickets in 2016 – a decision which would be reversed three years later.

On deadline day in the January transfer window, the club’s two top scorers, Jarrod Bowen and Kamil Grosicki, were sold and, adding even greater pressure on McCann’s resources, he is now without both his captain and vice-captain.

Both Eric Lichaj and Jackson Irvine, along with Stephen Kingsley and Marcus Maddison, astonishingly left the club after an agreement could not be reached to extend their contracts, which ended in June. As a result, none of the quad have played any part in the all-important bid for survival since the Championship returned following lockdown.

The club’s decision to ban local newspaper the Hull Daily Mail from the stadium last month did little to dispel feelings of a club in crisis.

It’s all evidence of the increasing pressure under which McCann is working and why, perhaps, their form has fallen off a cliff since winning eight of their most recent 14 league games up to January 1, at which stage their were 15 points above the relegation zone.

But regardless, the boss acknowledged he could offer little defence of his own abilities following such a humiliating defeat in midweek.

The next five days will reveal whether or not he can keep the club in the Championship in his first season in charge.

And then the question will be how long he will remain in his post.

Belfast Telegraph