MATCH PREVIEW: Home form needs to improve massively

Jack Baldwin played well for Posh at Gillingham.

Jack Baldwin played well for Posh at Gillingham.

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Improving home form has become a Peterborough United priority for the next 18 months.

Posh go into tomorrow’s (April 1) fixture with Charlton at the ABAX Stadium with the 18th best home record in League One. Grant McCann’s men have collected 27 points from 20 games at the ABAX compared to 28 points from 20 away matches.

Charlton manager Karl Robinson has a big fan in Posh boss Grant McCann.

Charlton manager Karl Robinson has a big fan in Posh boss Grant McCann.

Their away record is the eighth best in the division.

McCann said: “The teams at the top - Sheffield United, Bolton, Bradford City, Scunthorpe - all have excellent home records so it’s obvious we have to improve our own form at the ABAX.

“If you can take care of your home form, anything you pick up on your travels is a bonus. There are probably 70 clubs in the country saying exactly the same thing. Our away form this season has been good, but we are currently short of where we wanted to be.

“The support during games is very good, but we could do with attracting a few more through the gate to generate an even better atmopshere. We will turn the home form around in the next 18 months - there’s no doubt about that.”

Posh midfielder Martin Samuelsen is back in the squad for the Charlton match.

Posh midfielder Martin Samuelsen is back in the squad for the Charlton match.

“We’re trying to inter-act with the fans more. Players who are not involved in the match can get into the shop, into executive boxes and can sell programmes.

“The players do care about the club. They want to prove they are good people as well as good footballers.

More immediately Posh will try and secure back-to-back League One wins for the first time since beating Chesterfield and Charlton in December tomorrow. They scrambled a 1-0 win at Gillingham last weekend (March 25).

McCann is looking forward to locking horns with Charlton manager Karl Robinson. It will be a fourth meeting of the season with the former MK Dons boss with the score currently 2-1 to McCann.

“I like Karl as a person and respect him as a manager,” McCann added. “He’s a nice bloke and he did a great job for MK Dons after being given the chance to manage at a young age.

“It;s not gone so well for him at Charlton, but he’ll turn them around, hopefully after tomorrow’s game. I look up to him as a manager.

“Charlton are a much better side than their league position and form suggests, but we enjoyed a good result last week and we want to build on that.

“Defensively we looked strong again, Jack Baldwin had his best game for a while which suggested he’s finally free of injury. He won his headers and didn’t give Cody McDonald, who is a good player at this level, a kick.

“We gave the perfect away performance at Charlton in December (Posh won 2-0) and a repeat of that form would be ideal.”

Striker Tom Nichols is one of a handful of players who started at Gillingham struggling with a knock.

On-loan West Ham midfielder martin Samuelsen is back in the squad after spending the last 10 days on international duty with Norway.