McCann: Posh must tune out the hype
PETERBOROUGH boss Grant McCann blasted his under-performing players for believing their own hype after a heavy loss to MK Dons.
The Northern Irishman saw his side capitulate in the secondhalf against their local rivals, with Harvey Barnes, Kieran Agard and Chuks Aneke (twice) finding the net inside 24 minutes.
McCann has seen plenty of transfer speculation surrounding some of his players, and he questioned whether some had their heads turned.
“I could not see hurt, fight and passion – things you can’t teach a player,” he said.
“That was the biggest disappointment against one of the local rivals.
“I don’t know if the players are believing their own hype. The only way some of those players will leave the club is by going to a club below.
“For the past three to four years at this football club, January has been disappointing.
“The expectations that surround the players believing they are going to leave this club does not help.
“I was worried about January and players’ heads being turned by agents. It happens at every club but it happens more here.”
The second-half carnage started with a short corner worked to Paul Downing, who played a clever ball into Barnes to finish.
Agard then found the corner from inside the area before Aneke absolutely hammered in a shot from 20 yards.
Aneke, who also scored two goals against Northampton last week, then turned past a static defence before firing past Luke McGee.
Peterborough’s best moments came in the first half when Lee Angol’s goal-bound shot was blocked by Downing before Martin Samuelsen failed to convert Marcus Maddison’s cross. Dons boss Robbie Nielson was full of praise for Leicesterloanee Barnes, who capped his first start with a goal after scoring as a substitute on his debut last week.
Neilson said: “I thought the first 10-15 minutes we struggled to get hold of the game, but once we did that we were comfortable.
“Harvey I thought was fantastic. We’ve got to try and enjoy the time we’ve got with him as he’s destined for bigger and better things.
“Our job is to get him to develop and play men’s football. He was excellent for a kid making his full debut for us.
“And I was delighted for Chuks – it’s been a tough year for him. His first goal was a great strike but I’m hoping he can score a few more better than that.”