GRANT FURY AT PAYNE-FUL LOSS

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Joel Lamy

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.”

PIC­TURES: PSI/Den­nis Good­win

CLIN­I­CAL: Ox­ford striker Wes Thomas scores his side’s sec­ond goal EQUALISER: Josh Ruf­fels cel­e­brates

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