MATCH PREVIEW: McCann’s men in the mood to blunt ‘The Blades’

Craig Mackail-Smith in action for Posh at Port Vale last weekend. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.
Craig Mackail-Smith in action for Posh at Port Vale last weekend. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.

Peterborough United are in the mood to topple League One leaders Sheffield United.

Posh are expecting a bumper crowd for the visit of ‘The Blades’ to the ABAX Stadium tomorrow (February 11, 3pm kick off) and manager Grant McCann has urged his players to put on a show fit for the occasion.

Jack Baldwin, seen here celebrating a victory at Sheffield United, could be back in the Posh squad tomorrow.

Jack Baldwin, seen here celebrating a victory at Sheffield United, could be back in the Posh squad tomorrow.

Posh received a boost to their confidence last weekend (February 4) by ending a poor run of form with a 3-0 win at Port Vale.

“Of course we can beat them,” McCann said. “They are a good side with an excellent manager and they will have a big following, but we’ve done well in the bigger matches this season.

“My players love the big games and they will go into this one confident after playing well last weekend. It’s a tough challenge, but one I believe we can win.

“We need to turn our home form around quickly. We will be trying a couple of different things preparation-wise, but every player will need to be on their game if we are to get the better of a side who have strengthened what was already a good squad in recent weeks.

Jerome Binnom-Williams gets away from Sheffield United's Kieron Freeman at Bramall Lane earlier this season.

Jerome Binnom-Williams gets away from Sheffield United's Kieron Freeman at Bramall Lane earlier this season.

“Samir Carruthers, Jay O’Shea and James Hanson are all good signings for League One, while the lad they’ve picked up from Manchester United Joe Riley is a top prospect.

“But we played well last week. Everyone did their jobs very well. I’m looking forward to pitting my wits against a very good manager and the lads are looking forward to a battle against the best side in the league. I’m sure our fans will react well to the big away following.”

Posh were hoping captain Chris Forrester comes through a fitness test on his sore hamstring today (February 10). Central defender Jack Baldwin could be a surprise addition to the squad after recovering from knee surgery.

Craig Mackail-Smith is expected to retain his place in the starting line-up after impressing at Vale Park last week. Jerome Binnom-Williams will keep his place at left-back ahead of Andrew Hughes and can expect a tough tussle with United’s marauding right-back Kieron Freeman.

McCann added: “Chris has had an injection to try and ease the pain, but we will see how he goes in training today. Even if he’s fit he faces a fight to get back into the team.

“Jack Baldwin will be in and around the squad. He’s looked very sharp this week.

“Craig certainly suits the way we want to play. His workrate and his ability and willingness to press high up the pitch is a lesson for the other strikers in the squad.

“I’ve been pleased with Jerome’s attitude since he came to the club. He’s not had a run in the side yet, but he looked good last weekend and he will need to be again tomorrow as Freeman is having a great season.”

Posh have handed over the entire Motorpoint Stand to visiting fans tomorrow. This means Posh season ticket holders in that stand have been moved to other parts of the ground.

The match has also been made all-ticket for Posh fans. The club are expecting a 10,000 total gate. Over 4,000 tickets have been sold to visiting supporters.