Charlton boss makes play-off admission after being leapfrogged by Portsmouth | Sunderland issued challenge after Hull secure promotion

Grant McCann has set is sights on the League One title after Hull City secured an immediate promotion back to the Championship.

Sunday, 25th April 2021, 1:00 pm
Updated Sunday, 25th April 2021, 2:46 pm

Having suffered relegation last season, the Tigers will be back in the second tier for the 2021-22 campaign following a 2-1 victory at Lincoln.

Hull are currently four points ahead of second-placed Peterborough with two matches to play, but the Posh have a game in hand.

And while McCann's delighted the Tigers have removed their League One shackles at the first time of asking, he now wants to add silverware to the KCOM Stadium trophy cabinet.

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He told the club's website: I’m over the moon for everybody at the football club, particularly the owners for their backing of me last summer which I thank them for, and also the staff and players because everybody has been outstanding and it has been a real team effort.

‘The players have taken hit after hit and criticism after criticism whenever they’ve lost a game but they’ve always responded. It’s been a tough season, particularly without the fans, and it’s a real shame that they couldn’t be here today to witness the moment. Hopefully, we can all come together soon and have a proper party.

It’s been a long slog but we’re not there yet. I’m not going to sugar-coat it – I’d love us to win the title and so would the players so that is our focus in the next two games.’

Meanwhile, Nigel Adkins vowed Charlton's play-off hopes remains in their hands despite suffering a setback against Peterborough.

Charlton Athletic boss Nigel Adkins. Picture: James Chance/ Getty Images

Jonson Clarke Harris' 31st goal of the season ensured the Posh won 1-0 at The Valley and inched Darren Ferguson s side ever closer to the second automatic promotion spot.

Meanwhile, the Addicks dropped to eighth and trail Pompey by two points with a game in hand.

Adkins told the South London Press: ‘We did a lot of good things. However, we’ve been beaten 1-0 and that’s what we’ve got to take. We’ll take the positives through to the next game. It’s in our hands. The players have worked extremely hard.

‘All the games are pressurised games now. We will be expected to win on Tuesday because we’re at home and Crewe are below us in the division.

‘That’s a given, but we need to go and win the game. We’ll respect them as we’ll always do but there were many good things that we’ve done today to try and win the game. That’s what we’ll be looking to do on Tuesday.’

Peterborough are now just one win away from reaching the Championship.

Manager Darren Ferguson said: ‘What a win for us. We understood the magnitude of the game and delivered a massive result against a team who hadn’t lost since they changed manager.

‘I’m only looking at promotion right now, but if we win on Tuesday we are only a point off the top and then we’ll be promoted and we’ll try and go and win it. We have to get the first bit done though. If we can finish it off on Tuesday that will be fantastic.’

Sunderland chief Lee Johnson insisted his troops need to mathematically secure a top-six place before they can ‘press the reset button’.

The Black Cats’ automatic promotion hopes are virtually over after being held to a 3-3 draw with Accrington at the Stadium of Light.

Johnson told the Northern Echo: ‘It’s a difficult one for us to take after decent performances against Hull and a sterling first half here, we will have to study this one to make sure we don’t lose belief.

‘We have to secure a place in the play-offs first, that’s not done. We have to get a result at least in the next two games. Then we have to press the reset button.

‘We are so passionate about it. We have a squad big enough for every position apart from the centre-half area. That’s how with our goalscoring problem we have to be vigilant as a team, not just the back four.’

Neil Critchley worries teams are working out how to beat Blackpool after they suffered back-to-back defeats.

The Seasiders lost 1-0 to Shrewsbury at Bloomfield Road, meaning they’re now level on points with Pompey but played a game fewer.

Critchley told the Blackpool Gazette: ‘Teams are obviously looking at how to beat us. Shrewsbury have changed their shape today, they’ve made it very difficult for us and put everyone behind the ball.

‘I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but we got into some very good areas, remained patient and passed the ball well, but the final bits let us down.

‘You need to take one of those chances and change the game, to force a team that has come to frustrate and maybe get a point or pick up three from a set-piece or a breakaway. Unfortunately, that’s what has cost us.’

Other results

Crewe Alexandra 1-1 Rochdale, Doncaster 0-1 Fleetwood, Gillinahm 2-2 Northampton, Ipswich 0-0 AFC Wimbledon, MK Dons 5-0 Swindon, Oxford 3-1 Plymouth, Wigan 1-1 Burton