Grant McCann will be without key players George Honeyman and Mallik Wilks as Hull City kick their pre-season off this weekend with a double header at the newly named MKM Stadium against Mansfield Town before a different squad travel to the Sands View Stadium to face Scunthorpe United.
Mansfield at Home; Scunthorpe Away
Speaking to the press this week, McCann explained the nature of his squad playing two games in six hours. “The intensity in the 11 v 11s at the training ground is at a much higher level than you get on a matchday, and we’ve built the players up gradually to this point,” he said.
“On Tuesday, we played three 30-minute games with a seven-minute break in between, in the blistering heat.”
“The boys have worked really hard at the training ground and everyone is ready to go and play 90 minutes,” he continued. “Playing the two games allows everyone to play a full 90 and we believe the way we’ve done things will put us in a really good place for the first game.”
Honeyman out; Huddlestone in?
One player that will not be featuring, however, is George Honeyman. The fans favourite has suffered a set back since his ankle surgery and may not be available until September.
“George came back raring to go in pre-season but, unfortunately, his ankle was not right,” said McCann when he spoke to the club’s social media channels.
“We managed to get George an operation but he’ll probably miss the first six or seven games.
“It’s not great news because he’s such an influential player, but it was important we got the operation done so he didn’t have a relapse during the season.”
Ex-Tiger Tom Huddlestone is currently training with the club and will reportedly play against Scunthorpe United. The midfielder is fondly remembered by the black and amber faithful and it will no doubt be a packed away end at the Sands View Stadium.
Mallik Wilks, Callum Elder and young goalkeeper Harvey Cartwright will not be risked either with McCann not wanting any injuries so close to the start of the new season.
First chance to see new signings; plenty of youth on show
Fans will be keen to see new signings, such as goalkeeper Nathan Baxter, midfielders Andy Cannon, George Moncur, Randell Williams and striker Ryan Longman. All are tipped to feature, with details of the squad split still unconfirmed officially.
Excitingly, there will be some young Tigers all wanting to make their debuts and impress McCann as well as the City faithful. Macaulay Snelgrove impressed last season for the development squad, as has Harry Lovick. Both of these signed their first professional deals with the club at the back end of last season, as well as Driffield born Oliver Green who impressed against North Ferriby FC last week.
Harry Wood is another young Tiger keen to impress, as well as defender Andy Smith who made his first team debut last year in the Papa John’s Trophy against Fleetwood Town.
Anyone for both games?
The Home game against Mansfield Town will kick off at 12pm, and the away clash at Scunthorpe United will start at 3pm.
Given the short distance between the clubs, there will be some fans watching both games in what is sure to be an emotional return to live football for the Hull City faithful.
City won their first League Title in 55 years last season when they pipped Peterborough United to the top of Sky Bet League One. The Tigers were promoted at the first time of asking after a disastrous 2019/20 season - and the fans will be desperate to show their gratitude for their team’s hard work last campaign.