sport

McShane up for Euro challenge

Paul McShane insists Hull City will dust themselves down from their FA Cup heartbreak and come back determined and ready for their first-ever European campaign.

The Tigers stormed into an early two-goal lead at Wembley last Saturday only for Arsenal to force extra-time and then lift the silverware courtesy of Aaron Ramsey's late winner.

With the Gunners having already qualified for the UEFA Champions League, Hull's reward for finishing as runners-up is a place in next season's Europa League.

McShane, who featured as a second-half substitute at Wembley, is now looking for Steve Bruce's men to push on next term, including reaching the Europa League final.

He told the Hull Daily Mail: "It is a great opportunity for us all to taste European football.

"It's great that we have Europe to look forward to. It will be a new experience for everyone and a great challenge for us all, which we are all relishing.

"Maybe we'll be looking forward to the Europa League final next year, you never know!"

Qualify

The Tigers enter the Europa League at the third qualifying round stage and then will also have to navigate a play-off round if they are to make the group stages of the competition.

McShane added: "We have to make sure we qualify first for the league (stage), but once we've done that you never know what can happen.

"Who would have thought we'd play in the FA Cup final, a lot of people have written us off. Football is a funny old game.

"From being nearly in administration at this club, to promotion to the Premier League, staying in the Premier League and reaching an FA Cup final, that's a major achievement so who knows what will happen next season?"

McShane suffered ankle ligament damage against Southampton in February and was just pleased to feature at Wembley after battling back to fitness.

He added: "I always had the cup final in the back of my head as when I would come back.

"I'd been out for around 12 weeks and the aim was always to get back for the final.

"I never wanted to give up hope because it's such a great occasion to be a part of and having played in the earlier rounds it would have been a big disappointment to miss out on the final. I'm back to full fitness now and will start getting ready for next season now.

"It was a bonus being in the cup final, but when you come that close you want to win it. The lads were all devastated because we came so close. It will hurt for a while, but we'll dust ourselves down and come back determined and ready for next season."