Grant McCann says his Hull City side can take confidence from a 2-1 defeat to Chelsea after running their Premier League opponents close in an entertaining FA Cup fourth round tie.

Chelsea booked their place in the last 16 through the goals of Michy Batshuayi and Fikayo Tomori but a late rally from the Tigers ensured Frank Lampard’s men were given a scare.

Kamil Grosicki’s deflected free-kick saw the Champions League side clinging on at the death, with City desperately attempting to force a replay back at Stamford Bridge.

The majority inside a sold-out KCOM Stadium were ultimately left disappointed but McCann says the nature of City’s fourth round exit will provide a lift ahead of Tuesday’s home game against Huddersfield Town in the Championship.

“The boys gave it a really good shot,” said McCann. “We can take a lot out of the second half. We pushed and pushed and couldn’t quite get the equaliser towards the end.

“The response of the boys after going 2-0 down was pleasing. They put in a really good shift.

“We tried to stay on the front foot but we’re playing against a side from the top four of the Premier League.

“It’s easy to say press and get after them but these guys are all international players. They can play around you and we found it difficult in the first half.

“We changed the shape in the second half and that helped us. We were better.”

For all George Long’s heroics kept City alive, they were ultimately undone by two sloppy goals conceded. Batshuayi’s fortuitous opener after just six minutes came after the Tigers were cut open too easily down their left, before Tomori was unmarked to nod in a free-kick that gave Chelsea their decisive second.

“We were disappointed to concede so early having started well,” added McCann. “The goal was conceded was avoidable. We switched off on (Callum) Hudson-Odoi’s run and didn’t see (Cesar) Azpilicueta. That was frustrating.

“We calmed down after that. They had a couple of chances that George (Long) saved well.

“If I’m honest I was pleased to come in at 1-0 down and in the second half we were much better.

“We had a good spell and we concede. That’s probably the most frustrating thing.” 

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