Peterborough United manager Grant McCann felt his side matched League One leaders Sheffield United before slipping to a late defeat at the ABAX Stadium today (February 11)
Billy Sharp claimed his 20th goal of the season in the 86th minute to secure a 1-0 win for The Blades, a result that moved them five points clear at the top of the table.
McCann gave Brad Inman his full debut eight months after he joined the club from Crewe, while Leo Da Silva Lopes (rested) and Paul Taylor (ill) missed out. Captain Chris Forrester started the game on the substitutes’ bench.
Posh have dropped a place to ninth, but they remain just three points off the play-off places ahead of Tuesday’s (February 14) home game with improving Shrewsbury. The Shrews scored a shock 1-0 win at second-placed Scunthorpe today.
McCann said: “I felt we matched a very good side today, until we switched off for the goal. We didn’t do enough to stop the cross coming in and we didn’t do enough to stop the header coming back across goal. And there was Billy Sharp unmarked to do what he’s been doing all season.
“It was a shame because we had defended pretty well. We just lacked a bit of self-belief going the other way. We made some poor decisions like cutting back inside when we should have crossed. There was very little combination play between the front players and that was disappointing.
“But this was nothing like the MK Dons defeat (Posh lost 4-0 to the Dons in their previous home match). I couldn’t fault the workrate or the attitude. The lads put a lot into the game, but unfortunately we got nothing out of it.
“We lost to a very good side. They are on the crest of a wave and they kept coming at us. We had a go back, but we fell short.
“Our fans were very good though. It was the first time I’ve seen the Motorpoint Stand full and it was an impressive sight even if they were all Sheffield United fans, but our crowd also got behind us.
“We’re disappointed, but it’s no big drama. Our focus is now straight onto Tuesday and beating a Shrewsbury side who had a very good result today. If we win that game we’ve taken six points from nine which would be a very good start to February.
“I needed to get a rest, mental as well as physical, into Leo and I was delighted to be able to give Brad a debut. He did well. Chris Forrester hasn’t trained much in the last fortnight whereas Brad has been training very well.”
Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder praised Posh for their part in an end-to-end contest.
“We deserved the win,” Wilder stated. “The game was a good advert for League One and credit to Peterborough as well for that.
“They have given us as much trouble in the two games this season as anyone else. The game at Bramall Lane (Posh lost that one 1-0 as well) was a good footballing match and this game saw both teams having a go and trying to win.
“You have to defend well against Peterborough as they have good technical players up top and we did that. The midfield diamond can be hard to play against and Peterborough play it better than most.”
Wildrr: Peterborough have given is as hard a game as a hytone over two matches this season
We keep goingm,we are bold and brave