MATCH REACTION: Peterborough United lucky not to lose by more against League Two opposition

Posh boss Grant McCann after defeat at the hands of Barnet. Photo: David Lowndes.
Posh boss Grant McCann after defeat at the hands of Barnet. Photo: David Lowndes.
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Peterborough United manager Grant McCann admitted his side deserved to be beaten by lower level opposition in the first round of the Carabao Cup tonight (August 8).

Posh were dumped 3-1 by League Two outfit Barnet at the ABAX Stadium and McCann suspected his team were in for a long night after just one minute.

Posh striker Jack Marriott heads straight at Barnet 'keeper Jake Stephens. Photo: David Lowndes.

Posh striker Jack Marriott heads straight at Barnet 'keeper Jake Stephens. Photo: David Lowndes.

McCann only made three changes to his starting line-up following the 2-1 League One win over Plymouth on Saturday.

Centre-back Steve Taylor was rested, while midfielder Anthony Grant was on the substitutes’ bench to protect a slight knock. Alex Penny came in for his full debut in the back three with Danny Lloyd replacing Leo Da Silva as the right wing-back. Chris Forrester replaced Grant.

But Posh were so poor before the break, McCann changed formation from 3-4-1-2 to 4-4-2 at half-time.

“We started the game sloppily,” McCann said. “We took too many risks. We told the players to get the Barnet defence turning in the first 10 minutes just to get a foothold in the game.

Posh goalscorer Gwion Edwards on the attack against Barnet. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.

Posh goalscorer Gwion Edwards on the attack against Barnet. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.

“But we didn’t do it. Our attitude and application were all wrong. Barnet picked up all the second balls and we paid the penalty by falling behind.

“In fact we were lucky to only be 2-1 down at half-time. It could easily have been 5-1.

“We were lacklustre from the start. I could see that after a minute and after 15 minutes I nearly changed things. I wish I had.

“It’s amazing how taking two experienced players out of the starting line-up can cause so much disruption. Steven was fit, but we have to manage him. I think that was his first 90-minute match on Saturday for over a year.

“We were better in the second-half and created a few chances, but whereas on Saturday I never felt Plymouth would score again, I always felt Barnet would.

“The players perhaps expected the game to be easier than it was. I had told them Barnet had some good players.

“Alex Penny was picked to balance the defence. He had a tough debut, but he wasn’t the only one. He will be a top player for us in the future.”

Posh are next in action in a League One fixture at Bristol Rovers on Saturday (August 12).