MATCH PREVIEW: Let Shaq be an example to all the fringe players
Grant McCann will use the example of striker Shaquile Coulthirst to motivate the players currently out of the Peterborough United first-team squad.
Coulthirst returned to the Posh starting line-up after a seven-game absence (he hadn’t even been a substitute in that spell) to star in last weekend’s 3-1 win over Bury at the ABAX Stadium.
It was a first win in nine competitive matches for Posh, one that McCann intends to build quickly on, with the help of his entire first-team squad.
McCann is also keen to win at Fleetwood on Saturday (October 8) to ensure his side go into Tuesday’s (August 18) eagerly-awaited home derby with Northampton Town full of confidence.
McCann said: “What happened to Shaq can happen to anyone in the squad.
“I will pick teams on form, but the players outside the first-team need to be showing me plenty to catch my attention.
“Shaquile was down for two days when I told him he was out of my plans in August, but since then his attitude has been excellent. He came back in and he did well so he will stay involved.
“It’s the same with players like Adil Nabi who hasn’t seen much action lately. Things can change quickly in football and people need to be ready to play.
“It shows the strength of our squad when top-class players like Michael Bostwick, George Moncur and Paul Taylor have to sit on the substitutes’ bench.
“But I will need them all at some stage of the season.”
McCann has Northern Ireland right-back Michael Smith available again this weekend, but he might have to wait for his return as Hayden White impressed while he was away on international duty.
“I’ve always said the players in possession will keep the shirt if they play well,” McCann added. “And Hayden did nothing wrong last weekend, particularly in the second half when he played very well.
“Fleetwood will be tough opposition on their own ground.
“They now have a manager who wants to play good football and they are a much better team because of it.
“They almost beat Sheffield United on their own ground in their last match so we will have to be at our best to get the result we want.
“It’s important we go into that big Northampton match on the back of two wins.”