Peterborough United manager Grant McCann lost his cool with his players for the first time tonight (August 9)...but he was delighted with how they responded.
Posh were a goal down at half-time in their English Football League Cup first round tie with AFC Wimbledon at the ABAX Stadium, but two goals from substitute Tom Nichols and a third from Paul Taylor - his first League goal since November 2013 - delivered a 3-2 win and a place in tomorrow night’s (August 10, from 10pm) second round draw.
Nichols scored the winning goal in the third of five minutes added time at the end of the contest.
McCann said: “There’s no two ways about it, we were disappointing in the first-half. That’s the first time I’ve lost my cool with the players, but I was delighted with their reaction.
“To score three goals in the second-half against anyone is a top effort. To come from behind and win for the second time in a few days is very satisfying as it shows what great character we have in the squad.
“Don’t get me wrong though. It’s obvious we have plenty to work on. Letting in four goals in two games is too many, but scoring six in two games is pretty good and that’s the way we like it at Peterborough!
“Wimbledon play in a certain way. They get balls in the penalty area and they have great energy in midfield. They were better than us in the first-half, but I was pleased we managed to turn things around.
“There are time when we will need to manage the game better, Their second goal was one such instance when Ben Alnwick gave Callum Chettle a short, straight pass on the edge of his own area. Callum shouldn’t have lost control of the ball, but at 2-1 up he should never have been given it in the first place.
“I’m delighted for Tom Nichols though. He came here with a good scoring record and he hasn’t had a chance to show his best here as he picked up an injury soon after arriving.
“I’m not one for picking players on how they perform in training, but he has been good in training and now he has been very good in a game. I’m glad he scored his second goal because I didn’t fancy extra time as I had used all my substitutes and some players, like Paul Taylor, were looking tired.
“Tom has given me a problem for the next game just as Gwion Edwards gave me a problem with the way he performed after coming on as a substitute at the weekend.
“They are good problems to have though. The strength in depth we are already showing is a good sign for the season ahead. Jerome Binnom-Williams made his debut tonight and he gave us a bit more energy.
“I was also pleased to see Paul Taylor score. I signed him to score goals and any forward should relish the opportunity to play for us as we will create so many chances.”
Posh skipper Chris Forrester was substituted because of a groin strain 20 minutes from time. The extent of the injury will be assessed tomorrow when the players arrive for a warmdown.
Central defender Ryan Tafazolli should return for the home League One match with Bradford City on Saturday (August 13). He missed tonight’s match with a hamstring problem.
AFC Wimbledon boss Neal Ardley was pleased his side played a full part in a thrilling cup tie, but blamed missed chances and poor defending for his team’s early cup exit.
“We’ve missed two glorious chances to score and then defended poorly for a last-minute set-piece,” Ardley said. “Both sides went for the win though and they were a credit to the competition.”