Marcelo Bielsa's kind words little consolation for Hull City boss Grant McCann after 'frustrating' Leeds United defeat

Marcelo Bielsa's kind words were little consolation for Hull City boss Grant McCann after a 2-0 Elland Road defeat by Leeds United.

By Graham Smyth
Tuesday, 10th December 2019, 11:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 10th December 2019, 11:04 pm
An own goal set Leeds on their way to a 2-0 win, to make it seven on the trot (Pic: Bruce Rollinson)
An own goal set Leeds on their way to a 2-0 win, to make it seven on the trot (Pic: Bruce Rollinson)

For the second time in a month the Ulsterman found himself being congratulated on what a good team his Hull side are, after a loss to a top-two side.

It was not that McCann did not appreciate the encouragement given out on the touchline by Bielsa, who was impressed by the attacking intent shown by the visitors, but the Tigers manager was frustrated by the result.

"I'm not interested in hard luck stories," he said after an own goal and Gjanni Alioski's strike gave Leeds their seventh consecutive victory and fourth clean sheet on the bounce.

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"Unlucky Hull you've done alright but we've got no points.

"We can take confidence but there's areas to improve. We're getting close to where I think we can be. I really appreciate Marcelo Bielsa standing speaking to me after, telling me how good a team we were but we want to be told that when we win. We had this when [West Brom manager] Slaven Bilic came to us two or three weeks ago, telling us we were excellent, the best they've played against. We want that when we win."

The difference between the two sides was that while Hull created good chances - Tom Eaves had a goalbound header saved by Kiko Casilla and Jackson Irvine spooned over from the edge of the box - Leeds took theirs.

"I was pleased with the performance for large parts of the game. What we had worked on worked well, playing through and over their press and getting into dangerous areas," said McCann.

"What we've shown this season is that we have been ruthless in those areas. Tonight we just didn't take the chance that probably would have suited us even more, because Leeds would have had to come against us more. For us to concede off probably Leeds' first shot on target, off an own goal, was frustrating for us.

"These are the bits of luck you get when you have the confidence and momentum of Leeds. You get this bit of luck.

"The second goal we thought we scored, we switched off for 20 seconds and the ball is in the back of the net. Frustrating.

"You can see from the way we pressed and harried them. For us to not get that all important goal when we were on top is crucial. There was a spell for about 15 minutes where we were really on top and we didn't get our shots away. We just didn't manage to get that all important goal."

McCann expressed sympathy for centre-half Jordy de Wijs whose own goal put Leeds on their way to victory, the defender putting a dangerous Helder Costa cross into his own net.

But the Hull boss was otherwise pleased with his central defenders, who he felt managed to contain Patrick Bamford.

"I do feel for [de Wijs] really. I thought the two of them were outstanding, probably playing against one of the best forwards in the league in Bamford," said McCann.

"Didn't really give him much change. There's nothing we can do about [the own goal], it is what it is."