MATCH REACTION: It was like watching Peterborough United’s promotion teams of the recent past

Posh striker Jack Marriott attempts to get past MK Dons 'keeper Lee Nicholls. Photo: David Lowndes.
Posh striker Jack Marriott attempts to get past MK Dons 'keeper Lee Nicholls. Photo: David Lowndes.
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Manager Grant McCann believes his side played like the Peterborough United glory teams of recent seasons tonight (September 12).

Posh beat MK Dons 2-0 at the ABAX Stadium to move up to second place in the table. Goals from centre-back Ryan Tafazolli - his first of the campaign - and Marcus Maddison sealed a dominant home display in front of another decent home crowd just short of 6,500.

Posh substitute Leo Da Silva Lopes was denied a brilliant solo goal against MK Dons by this save. Photo: David Lowndes.

Posh substitute Leo Da Silva Lopes was denied a brilliant solo goal against MK Dons by this save. Photo: David Lowndes.

Both goals arrived in the opening seven minutes of the second-half as Posh erased the memory of Saturday’s (September 9) first defeat of the season at home to Bradford City.

McCann’s reaction to that 3-2 reverse was to make four changes to his starting line-up. Captain Jack Baldwin, teenager Leo Da Silva Lopes and striker Junior Morias were all left on the substitutes’ bench, while midfielder Anthony Grant was suspended.

Right-back Liam Shephard and striker Ricky Miller made their full Posh debuts and Andrew Hughes and former skipper Chris Forrester were both recalled as McCann abandoned his 3-4-1-2 formation in favour of a 4-4-2 system.

“This club has had a reputation in recent seasons of terrorising teams when attacking the London Road End in the second half of matches,” McCann stated. “I spoke about that at half-time and fair play to the lads because they went out and did just that.

Posh right-back Liam Shephard during his impressive full debut against MK Dons. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.

Posh right-back Liam Shephard during his impressive full debut against MK Dons. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.

“We were relentless scoring twice in the first few minutes and we could have had more, but we controlled the rest of the game to deliver a very satisfying win.

“I thought we were excellent from the first minute. If I am being self-critical I probably should have made changes to the starting line-up for the Bradford match. I wasn’t comfortable going into that match as I knew four players were operating at less than 100 per cent.

“I decided to freshen it up tonight and it worked as we played with a lot of energy and pace. The lads who came in did so well I have a massive selection dilemma for Saturday’s (September 16) game at Walsall.

“Liam Shephard was very impressive for a young player making his debut in such a big game.

“We were a little bit frustrated not to be in front at half-time. Our set-piece delivery had been very good, but we couldn’t quite get on the end of one. That all changed in the second-half.

“I knew we would bounce back after Saturday’s defeat. I was confident coming into this game because I know the character of the lads in the team.

“Our formation probably took them by surprise. They started with the formation we had been using, probably expecting to match us up, but we were determined to use width tonight and it came off for us.”

Jack Baldwin, Gwion Edwards, Jack Marriott and Leo Da Silva Lopes are the players to have been nursing knocks in the last couple of weeks.

“I spoke with all of them this afternoon to remind them we are the team is bigger than any player or member of the coaching staff,” McCann added. “And they are all on board with that. Whatever team I pick on Saturday I know the entire squad will be there supporting them.”

Posh have now won five of their first seven League One games to sit three points behind surprise leaders Shrewsbury. Next opponents Walsall were thrashed 5-1 at Rotherham this evening.