Peterborough United manager Grant McCann is confident his players will rise to the occasion again when Notts County visit the ABAX Stadium for a second round FA Cup replay tomorrow (December 20).
Posh are expecting a bumper crowd, for a match that will be televised live on BT Sport, with a visit to Premier League leaders Chelsea the prize for the winners. Fans attending the ABAX tomorrow will be given priority for tickets to Stamford Bridge for a third round tie on Sunday, January 8.
Posh boss Grant McCann was quick to point out County’s desire to play Chelsea will be just as great, but he points to his own team’s form in big games this season as one reason why they will be firm favourites.
Posh are currently sixth in League One, while County are 20th in League Two, just a point above the drop zone. They have lost their last six League matches.
“It’s a massive match tomorrow,” McCann admitted. “There is a great incentive to win the game, but we have to remember that County will have the same incentive.
“They are on a bad run and they’ve had off-field problems, but they will be as motivated as we are to win tomorrow. They will be at it and we must be prepared.
“We are confident though. We’ve done well in the big matches this season. We’ve been very good against Bury and Bolton live on television and we’ve won both derby games against Northampton.
“I have big game players in my dressing room and they are all in great form. We are winning games and we want to carry on winning. If we reproduce the form we showed against Chesterfield in the second half and Charlton at the weekend we will win, but I am a realist and shocks happen in the FA Cup.
“Since we drew at County and the draw for the third round was made I have been thrilled with the attitude of my players. They have focused on the next game rather than looking ahead to a possible match at Stamford Bridge.
“But now our focus is on beating County. It’s been that way since the final whistle at Charlton on Saturday. We’ve not been drawn against one of the really big boys in my time at the club and it would be a big disappointment if it was snatched away from us now.
“The chance to play in front of 6-7,000 of our fans at Stamford Bridge is huge for us, but if we don’t perform tomorrow we will be out.
“It’s also the first of three home matches in a row to end the year and we want to win them all.”
Posh striker Lee Angol completes his three-match ban tomorrow, a suspension picked up in the original tie at County when he was sent off for violent conduct.
Star attacking player Marcus Maddison is also missing because of an ankle injury, while on-loan midfielder George Moncur won’t be involved as he wasn’t registered for the competition ahead of the original tie at County.
Posh midfielder Chris Forrester will play tomorrow, in a side likely to be unchanged, after recovering from a bout of chicken pox which had threatened his participation at Charlton.
County will be without experienced midfielder Michael O’Connor who is suspended.
Posh have sold close to 5,500 tickets for the tie. County have sold just over 300. Admission is available on the gate tonight.
The match will be played to a finish tomorrow with extra time and penalties available if required.