Grant McCann was delighted to see promotion-hopefuls Hull shake off any hangover from their heavy defeat at Fleetwood last time out as they earned a 3-0 win at Rochdale.
The Tigers fell to a 4-1 loss in their previous League One fixture, but got their bid for a speedy return to the Championship back on track as a Mallik Wilks brace and a third goal from Josh Magennis underlined their superiority at the Crown Oil Arena.
Wilks headed them in front in the 20th minute and two goals in the space of three second-half minutes wrapped up the win, Wilks volleying home his second in the 73rd minute and Magennis heading in George Honeyman’s cross two minutes later.
McCann felt his side should have been out of Rochdale’s reach by the halfway stage, but overall was pleased with the way they bounced back from a poor result.
“It was a really good reaction to what was a bad half of football at Fleetwood last week and since the start of the season that’s all it’s been so far, one bad 45 minutes when we lost,” said McCann.
“We wanted to come to Rochdale and respond in the right way with the right performance and we’ve done that. They are a good footballing team, Rochdale, play the right way and they try to overload you in the wide areas.
“But the shape and organisation of our team was good and when we broke we looked dangerous on nearly every occasion.
“It could have been more goals, Keane (Lewis-Potter) could have scored and Mallik might have got one or two more.”
The home side made a promising start when Aaron Morley’s free-kick only narrowly evaded Jake Beesley.
Rochdale enjoyed plenty of possession for the remainder of the half but Hull goalkeeper Matt Ingram was barely troubled. Beesley wasted a glorious chance when he sent a free header off target and Hull’s superior finishing ultimately proved the difference.
Matty Lund saw a shot blocked and Alex Newby at least worked Ingram in the second half, but Dale lacked a clinical finish.
Rochdale boss Brian Barry-Murphy said: “It was a very difficult day for us, once it goes to two and three nil, those will be the facts and figures of the game but for long periods of the first half and parts of the second half I felt we were the better team and in control.
“We weren’t happy with the goals we conceded from set plays, we’d worked very hard on that and it was very disappointing.
“The way we play takes a lot of courage from the lads and takes a lot of hard work, but we’re not happy conceding goals like that and we don’t just think ‘it’s OK because we’re not expected to beat Hull’. There’s definitely stuff for us to work on.”
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