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Experience sees McCann return a stronger manager

13 May 2023

Grant McCann believes he arrives back at Rovers a better manager than when he left four years ago.

After ending his first spell in charge at the club, McCann went on to win the Sky Bet League One title with Hull City, as well as reaching almost 350 matches as a manager during a second stint at Peterborough United.

And he feels his experiences have ensured he returns to the Eco-Power Stadium stronger.

“Every up and down in football management, you always take the highs and the lows,” the 43-year-old said.

“I think I've managed 300-odd games now so I feel as if I have got real good experience of a lot of different ways - i.e. dealing with the board or dealing with players or agents - whatever it may be.

“I feel as if I've seen a lot in my short time. There's been promotions, there's been relegations, there's been seconds, there's been transfer embargoes, there's been semi final misses - there's been everything.

“I've seen everything in that seven years and I feel as if that is only going to improve me as I move on.”

On his decision to leave Rovers for Hull following the play-off semi-final defeat at Cardiff City in 2019, McCann insists it was an unmissable opportunity for a variety of reason.

He said: “It was off the back of the Charlton game. We were already ahead in terms of bringing players into the football club. I.e. we’d agreed a deal with Ben Sheaf, we’d agreed a deal with Reece James, we’d agreed a deal with Brad Halliday. I was working hard to try and recruit for the squad.

“We were ahead of the curve with another two players I seem to remember, but when I left they they didn't materialise.

“I just felt the time that I was so hurt and disappointed. I've always grown up to want to be able to have that real winning mentality and I was desperate to get this club to the Championship. I was just so disappointed that we didn't quite get there.

“The opportunity to go to the Championship and, to be brutally honest, financially for myself and my family was important.

“I had nothing bad to say about this football club had a tremendous working relationship with David [Blunt] and Gavin [Baldwin] and Terry [Bramall] and all the staff.

“And it was a big decision and it was one I never took lightly. It took me quite a few days to make, speaking to my family and a few friends. So they were the reasons.”

McCann says he sees parallels with his time entering his second season at Hull as he prepares to shape his squad at Rovers.

“We went down, but we had a real belief that we could go back up again and that desire was back with me again to prove people wrong, to prove to people that I am good enough and my team is good enough,” he said “And we did it.

“This is a really good opportunity for me to do something similar that I did at Hull, i.e. bringing in the right people, the right character, the right mentality to to want to win, to want to push to, to want to get promoted.”


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