MATCH REACTION: It’s make your mind up time for McCann

Ricardo Santos in action for Posh against West Ham. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com

Ricardo Santos in action for Posh against West Ham. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com

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Peterborough United manager Grant McCann will field his strongest team in their next pre-season friendly against Leeds United at the ABAX Stadium on Saturday (July 23).

McCann insists he is unconcerned about his team’s poor form and results so far this summer, but defeat against a young West Ham XI tonight (July 19) has convinced him the time for experimenting is over.

Jermaine Anderson on the ball for Posh against West Ham. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.

Jermaine Anderson on the ball for Posh against West Ham. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.

Posh went down 2-1 at the ABAX Stadium to goals in the first and last minutes. Shaquile Coulthirst scored for Posh from the penalty spot at the start of the second half. Posh have so far scored three goals in four pre-season friendlies, two penalties and one header from a corner.

“These games are still all about fitness, about getting minutes into players’ legs,” McCann insisted. “But don’t get me wrong it’s never nice to get beaten and the players have now made my mind up for me. I will play my strongest team against Leeds on Saturday.

“I’ve just reminded the players the first League One game at Rochdale is less than three weeks away. The players who will be involved in that game will now start playing together.

“I was pleased that Shaquile managed to score. Strikers need goals in pre-season and hopefully he will go on a bit of a run. He probably should have done better with a couple of other chances.”

Posh star Marcus Maddison in action against West Ham. Photo: David Lowndes.

Posh star Marcus Maddison in action against West Ham. Photo: David Lowndes.

McCann employed a 3-5-2 formation tonight. Trialist striker Morgan Ferrier started the game, but central defender Ricardo Santos limped out of the game with a groin injury towards the end.

“Ricardo’s injury is my only serious concern from tonight,” McCann added. “But it doesn’t look too serious.

“It’s important we have plans A, B and C, ready for the league season which is why I tried a different formation. Are we suited to it? I’m not so sure. Have we practiced it enough? Definitely not.

“I have plenty of options for the start of the League One season. It’s now up to me and the coaching staff to nail the right ones down.”