PREVIEW: McCann predicts a mad scramble for promotion

Tom Nichols scoring for Posh against Bristol Rovers last season.
Tom Nichols scoring for Posh against Bristol Rovers last season.
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Peterborough United manager Grant McCann is predicting a mad scramble for the League One promotion places this season.

McCann believes as many as 14 clubs have a realistic chance of finishing in the top six, including Posh and tomorrow’s opponents Bristol Rovers (August 12, 3pm).

Callum Chettle faces a long injury lay-off.

Callum Chettle faces a long injury lay-off.

The Posh boss expects his team to bounce back from Tuesday’s (August 8) disappointing home defeat to Barnet in the Carabao Cup and add to last weekend’s opening day League win over Plymouth when visiting the Memorial Stadium.

“It’s difficult to predict who will be best teams this season,” McCann stated. “Last season I fancied Sheffield United and Bolton would finish near the top, but there are no stand-out teams like those two now.

“I reckon 12-14 clubs have a realistic chance of finishing in the top six and ourselves and Bristol Rovers are among them.

“We had two great games against Rovers last season and two good wins, but those results will mean nothing tomorrow. They have recruited well and strengthened and so have we.

Morgan Penfold scored a hat-trick in a Posh reserve game.

Morgan Penfold scored a hat-trick in a Posh reserve game.

“It should be a very good game, but it will also be a very tough game, one of tbe toughest we will have all season.

“But we’ve moved on from a disappointing result on Tuesday and we are ready to put a performance on and win. We were only playing at 75% against Plymouth and yet we still picked up a deserved win.

“There’s much more to come from us and no-one should be getting too down over one poor performance in a cup tie. It’s the League we have prepared for all summer.”

Experienved central defender Steven Taylor should return to the Posh starting line-up tomorrow at the expense of Alex Penny after sitting out the Barnet game. It’s likely Anthony Grant and Leo Da Silva Lopes will also return in place of Alex Penny and Danny Lloyd.

Tom Nichols, who Posh sold to Rovers just before the start of the season, is expected to lead the forward line for the home side.

Callum Chettle will be absent for many weeks after picking up a hamstring injury in a 7-1 win over an unnamed club in a reserve game this week. Teenage striker Morgan Penfold grabbed a hat-trick in that game with Ricky Miller (2), Liam Shephard and Andrew Borg also scoring.

Midfielder Jermain Anderson is training with the first team squad, but remains six weeks away from a call-up.