Peterborough United manager Grant McCann insists his side will be as committed in front of 3,000 at Bury tomorrow (January 14) as they were in front of 40,000 at Chelsea last weekend.
Posh won’t have the backing of 6,000 travelling fans at Gigg Lane - the club had sold barely 100 advance tickets by close of business yesterday (January 12) - but McCann believes the character of his squad will make motivation easy, even in the expected wintry conditions.
And the Posh boss believes his players will have to be close to their best to get a badly needed win, even though Bury haven’t won a competitive match since September 27, a run of 20 games.
“Dave Farrell went to watch Bury at Scunthorpe last weekend,” McCann revealed. “And he said they played very well in the second half against a a Scunthorpe side who were also in good form.
“Bury have struggled, but they still have some very good players in their squad. We are not going up there thinking it’s a game at the bottom against out-of-form opposition, we are going up there thinking we will have to work hard and play well to get the three points we need.
“We had a disappointing Christmas when we picked up just three points from three matches, but generally since October we have picked up two points a game which is promotion form.
“We need to maintain that level through two very busy and two very difficult months.
“We had a great day at Chelsea, but all talk of that game finished on Tuesday. Our focus is on Bury tomorrow and on League One in general.”
Recent signing Junior Morias, who scored twice for Posh reserves on Tuesday, is back in the Posh squad after missing the cup tie at Stamford Bridge. Defensive loan capture Dominic Ball picked up a shoulder injury in that reserve game and may miss out at Bury. One other (unnamed) starter from Stamford Bridge is also carrying a niggle.
Right-back Hayden White won’t be involved as he joined League Two side Mansfield on loan until the end of the season yesterday.
McCann confirmed there won’t be any transfer activity in or out before tomorrow’s match. He would be happy if it stayed that way throughout January.
“We have a squad full of young, talented players so it’s inevitable other clubs will be watching them,” McCann added. “But my players will stay focused on the job in hand. Transfer speculation is part of football and it’s not something we can do anything about anyway.
“I am happy with what I have here. Junior is a good signing who will only get better, while we’ve done well to get Dominic and Martin Samuelsen in the building so early in January.
“Junior is a great lad. He comes in to see me after every training session and match to ask me how he could improve. He was with us for six weeks before he signed so he’s pretty much up to speed. He made his debut at Scunthorpe when we started with a system I thought would hurt them, but it didn’t. Junior was much better when he had someone alongside him in the second-half.
“I have good options up front now. Lee Angol and Junior know each other very well, while Tom Nichols is a striker I like as he gets on the end of many good opportunities.
“I’d probably like one more signing, but if it doesn’t happen it’s no big deal. If we see someone who would improve the squad I’m sure the chairman and Barry Fry would act quickly to get the deal done.”
Bury have the worst defence in League One and manager Chris Brass has tried to improve that situation by signing defenders Taylor Moore and Cameron Burgess on loan from Bristol City and Fulham respectively.
Brass said: “I wanted to add defensive cover, that was a priority, and I’m glad I’ve been able to do that.
“We have got a good run of games now and it’s time we can start turning performances into results.
“We played the top two teams in the league in the last two games and showed we can compete with them so we are confident going into the game against Peterborough.
“They are in good form and it will be an exciting match. We have got a good run of games now and we are really confident.”