GRANT FURY AT PAYNE-FUL LOSS
AN EMBARRASSED Grant McCann accused some of his Peterborough players of throwing the towel in after they conceded four second-half goals at home to a Jack Payne-inspired Oxford.
Josh Ruffels, Wes Thomas, Joe Rothwell and substitute Agon Mehmeti sealed Oxford’s first win in five matches, with the U’s coming into this fixture on the back of three straight defeats.
The home side, who have now lost consecutive matches to slip down to fourth, had taken a first-half lead through Jack Marriott, who scored his ninth goal of the season.
An angry McCann said: “I was embarrassed by what I saw in the second-half.
“We didn’t track, we didn’t fight, and we thought the game was easy.
“It looks like one or two people throw the towel in when we are being beaten.
“I told the players afterwards that there is no way I’m watchthinks ing a performance like that again – especially in front of our fans who have backed us so well.
“That is not an idle threat either. It’s a promise. A few home truths have been told.
“It’s really disappointing to have suffered consecutive defeats in the two games since we beat Wigan last week.
“We’re conceding far too many goals and that’s something we have to correct.”
Marriott’s third goal in three games followed a superb through ball by Anthony Grant, which the striker poked firsttime past Oxford goalkeeper Simon Eastwood.
But the U’s were rampant in the second-half, with Payne bagging all four assists.
His back-post cross was headed in by Ruffels, his through-ball was emphatically put away by Thomas, his sidefoot pass was curled in by Rothwell and his shot was parried into the path of former Malmo striker Mehmeti, who tapped in his first goal in English football.
Posh also came close to scoring after the break, with Ricky Miller hitting the post at 1-1 and Marriott heading against the bar at the end.
Oxford boss Pep Clotet was full of praise for Payne.
He said: “He is a player that quick and, for me, that is his main ability.
“At the same time, he is very generous in his effort and helps his team-mates. He is a fantastic lad.”
And after seeing his side end their poor run, the Spaniard added: “It’s a very important win.
“It was a fantastic performance and fantastic effort for this group of players.
“We’ve had a little blip that every team in this league needs to handle. The whole club stuck together 100 per cent. This blip just united us.
“It's normal for a few people to lose a little bit of confidence in the team but everyone inside the club is focused on us getting better.”
CLINICAL: Oxford striker Wes Thomas scores his side’s second goal EQUALISER: Josh Ruffels celebrates