High and lows for McCann
Grant McCann has experienced the extreme highs and lows of management in the space of four days.
The rookie Posh boss was thrilled with his side’s 2- 0 League One win at arch rivals MK Dons last Saturday, but appalled by a dismal display from a much-changed side that crashed 6-1 at home to Norwich City in the Checkatrade Trophy on Tuesday night.
That’s a club record-equalling margin of defeat in a home match for Posh in the club’s Football League era and it left McCann frothing at the mouth.
He accused some of his players of ‘arrogance’.
“I’m frustrated, angry and embarrassed,” McCann said after the Norwich game.
“I take responsibility for the defeat as I was the one who made seven changes to the starting line-up, but the bottom line is some of the players are clearly not as good as I thought they were.
“That was an unacceptable performance from players who performed with a level of arrogance that was unwarranted. I don’t know why, because we stressed beforehand that Norwich would bring a good side, but we started the game as though we expected an easy win.
“This competition is a priority for us and we started with a side capable of so much better than we showed, but few players did themselves any favours.
“It was a good opportunity missed by several players to make my selection this Saturday far harder. I feel sorry for the fans who turned out to watch that. Norwich were ruthless and fully deserved their win.”
McCann’s mood was in direct contrast to his demeanour after a win at stadium:mk took his side up to seventh place in League One.
Andrew Hughes scored his first Posh goal in the second minute and a late own goal secured the win.
“We delivered the perfect away performance,” McCann enthused. “We controlled the game from the first minute to the last.
“We were very solid defensively and we looked a threat every time we went forward.
“We also managed the game very well. We dictated the tempo of the match thanks in part to the outstanding performances of captain Chris Forrester and Leo Da Silva Lopes in midfield.
“It was quite a display from Leo. At 17 he produced one of the most complete performances I’ve ever seen from a Posh player. His calmness and temperament are remarkable for one so young. Nothing seems to faze him and he fully justified his inclusion in what is always a big game for our club.
“The clean sheet was also very encouraging.”
Posh now have back-toback home games in League One against Swindon (September 3) and Port Vale (September 10).
They are also still involved in the Checkatrade Trophy despite their heavy midweek defeat. They will host League One rivals MK Dons in their next outing on October 4.
McC ann handed first-team debuts as sedcond-half substitutes to youth team players De on Moore and Morgan Penfold against Norwich.
Grant McCann: “Leo produced the complete performance.”
Posh players celebrate the second goal at MK Dons.
Debutant Morgan Penfold in action for Posh against Norwich.
Central defender Ryan Tafazolli returned from injury against Norwich
Dean Moore made his first-team debut against Norwich