MATCH PREVIEW: Make sure Dale don’t hurt us again

Posh players after conceding a goal at Rochdale last season. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.

Posh players after conceding a goal at Rochdale last season. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.

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New Posh manager Grant McCann wants the hurt from last season’s opening day defeat at Rochdale to motivate his team in the re-match tomorrow (August 6).

Posh went down 2-0 at Spotland 12 months ago following a dismal display which set the tone for Dave Robertson’s brief spell as manager.

Grant McCann.

Grant McCann.

McCann is a big fan of the work done by Dale boss Keith Hill on a limited budget, but he believes his side need to lay down a marker of their own this time around.

“We were very disappointing at Rochdale last season,” McCann admitted. “We deserved to lose, although the result might have been different had Joe Gormley not missed a good chance to make it 1-1.

“The result started Rochdale out on a good season. They gained confidence from beating us and they kept it going for most of the campaign.

“That’s what we aim to do this season. We didn’t play that well when we won 1-0 at Rochdale on the opening day of the previous season, but we battled to get a result and went on to win a few games.

“It is a long season, but a good start is important and that’s what I will instil into the players before kick-off.

“It hurt us to play so badly last season and we can’t afford a repeat performance.

“I’m confident we can get the result we want, but it won’t be an easy game.

“Rochdale are exceptionally well run and managed. They make great signings for League One every season and they will be organised and tough to beat.

“It’s as tough an opening game as we could have, but we go there in good shape and in good spirits.”

Unless he’s played out an elaborate bluff, McCann’s initial starting line-up is easy to predict.

His one issue might be perming two from Gwion Edwards, Jermaine Anderson and Leo Da Silva Lopes for the slots in front of skipper Chris Forrester in a midfield diamond.

Jack Baldwin looks to have edged out Michael Bostwick for the central defensive role alongside new signing Ryan Tafazolli, while Paul Taylor and Shaquile Coulthirst look set to start up front.

McCann added: “One or two places are still under discussion, but in my head I know my team.

“Some players will be disappointed, but it’s a long season and we will need everyone at some stage.”