McCann needs to ring the changes against Coventry to awaken the twelfth man that is the MKM
Above: Mallik Wilks scores against Middlesbrough earlier this month 
(Photo by Andrew Kearns - CameraSport via Getty Images)

It has not been a good season for Grant McCann and his Hull City side for their first campaign back in the Championship after a year’s absence in 2020/21. 

They flew out of the traps at Preston North End on the opening day, winning 1-4 away from home - but since then have won only one game in a rotten run that has seen many call for the manager’s head. 

Last weekend’s defeat against an uninspiring Luton Town saw the Tigers have the majority of the ball in the second half but pass up the opportunities they carved out.

A simple square ball and finish would have got City level in front of their own fans in the second half, but McCann’s side are so shot of confidence in front of goal that this chance squirmed away from them along with the rest of the openings they created.

  • How do City get back to winning ways?

Ask any Hull City fan, and they will tell you the tweaks that are needed to turn performances into points.

Three centre halves would be one change that many suggest. City kept a clean sheet against Middlesbrough - only their third of the season - with a back four of Di’Shon Bernard, Alfie Jones (replaced by Shaun McLoughlin due to injury) and Jacob Greaves

Another would be Josh Emmanuel in for Lewie Coyle.

Coyle had to bide his time last season for his opportunity, but was excellent for the second half of City’s title winning campaign. Many feel the opposite is true now - Coyle is out of form, and Emmanuel deserves his chance. 

Fans of statistics will tell you that Emmanuel has played in both of the games that City have won this year - and it’s not just a coincidence. One of McCann’s many headaches is that he has two very good right backs - but the time has come to drop the hometown boy and give City’s number 12 his starting spot back.

  • The striker issue 

Josh Magennis has started the last few games since his return from injury, heading up the attack as the lone striker against Huddersfield, Peterborough and Luton. He scored against the Posh at home to take his total for the season to two, but many fans would like to see a two pronged attack like they saw against Middlesbrough.

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Tom Eaves and Tyler Smith both led the line in their last victory against Neil Warnock’s men, and although neither of them netted in that game City looked far more threatening than they have done in subsequent fixtures. Eaves’s hold up play and Tyler Smith’s pace have the potential to cause real headaches for defences, but so far McCann is not utilising this weapon and fans are becoming increasingly frustrated as they feel this is the best option going forward. 

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The 3-5-2 conundrum is one that frustrates fans massively. As far as they are concerned, the change in shape against Boro should have signalled a revitalised Hull City that suddenly went on a run - but here we are weeks later with no more points and a return to 4-3-3.

If McCann is to get the backing of the City faithful today, he needs to play the same set up as he did back at the start of the month. By doing so, the fans will get a lift and opposition manager Mark Robbins may be caught by surprise. If this doesn’t happen, the situation will be even more exacerbated at the MKM Stadium when 4:45 arrives.

I don’t even want to imagine the scenes if City suffer a bad defeat, play poorly - or a mixture of both.