MATCH PREVIEW: Selection dilemma for manager McCann

Peterborough United manager Grant McCann has a striker selection dilemma ahead of the League One home match with Coventry City at the ABAX Stadium tomorrow (December 31, 3pm kick off).

Friday, 30th December 2016, 8:26 am
Updated Monday, 9th January 2017, 12:53 pm
Paul Taylor (left) could be available for Posh against Coventry.

It’s a perm any three from five for the three most advanced positions as Posh attempt to return to the top six with a win against the ailing Sky Blues.

Paul Taylor is expected to be available after missing the Boxing Day draw with Gillingham because of a hamstring problem, while Lee Angol’s first goal of the season against the Gills suggested he is ready to put an injury-plagued season behind him.

Marcus Maddison and Shaquile Coulthirst are the players under threat from Taylor and Angol as McCann appears set to keep faith with Tom Nichols despite a woeful display of finishing from the young forward on Boxing Day.

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Posh striker Tom Nichols has the backing of manager Grant McCann.

McCann said: “Tom is going to be a really good player at this level. I wouldn’t be surprised if he scores 20 goals for us in all competitions this season.

“A couple of missed chances is not going to bother him. He’s one of the most confident players I’ve ever met.

“It’s this club’s way to give young players a chance and I’ve done that this season with players who have received some abuse from fans. It’s one of the reasons why we’ve been on a good run.

“Boxing Day came just too early for Paul Taylor, but I’m hopeful of having him back for tomorrow’s match. He’s a big player for us and his form in the few games before he picked up his injury proved that. he’d been involved in virtually every goal we’d scored.

Posh forward Lee Angol is pushing for a start against Coventry.

“Lee Angol is also a good option for us. He looked sharp against Gillingham. I’ve liked Lee since he came to the club. I gave him his debut at Oldham last season and he scored twice.

“We’ve been in decent form lately though so whether or not players can be dislodged from the side you will find out tomorrow.”

McCann is wary of a Coventry side who sit next-to-bottom in League One within just four wins from 23 matches, especially as they have a new manager in Russell Slade who took charge before a 4-1 Boxing Day drubbing at Bristol Rovers.

“New managers normally get a reaction,” McCann added. “Russell wouldn’t have had much time to work with the players before the first match so I’m expecting them to be tougher opponents for us.

Shaquile Coulthirst's starting place is under threat.

“They have some good young loan players and strong experienced players like Chris McCann in midfield, but we are at home and we need to stamp our authority on the game from kick off.

“We were disappointed not to beat Gillingham so this is a big game for us. We have five away games in a row after this one and, although we have good away form, a win here would set us up nicely for a tough match at Scunthorpe on Monday (January 2).”

Posh winger Harry Anderson requires a knee operation and will be out of action for seven-to-eight weeks. Anderson had only just been recalled from a successful loan spell at National League title challengers Lincoln City.

Harry Anderson has a knee injury.
Posh striker Tom Nichols has the backing of manager Grant McCann.
Posh forward Lee Angol is pushing for a start against Coventry.
Shaquile Coulthirst's starting place is under threat.
Harry Anderson has a knee injury.