MATCH REACTION: A penalty shootout of unbelievable quality sees Peterborough United into a quarter-final
Peterborough United manager Grant McCann praised the character and desire of his players as they sealed a second cup win in four days tonight (January 9)
Posh didn’t get anywhere near the heights of Saturday’s (January 6) FA Cup success at Aston Villa as they drew 0-0 with a much-changed Luton Town in a third round Checkatrade Trophy tie at Kenilworth Road, before easing through 7-6 after a penalty shoot out.
Posh rested experienced defender Steven Taylor and in-form midfielder Chris Forrester was suspended, but otherwise they were at full strength. League Two leaders Luton made 10 changes to their weekend line-up.
“We don’t have the luxury of making as many changes as Luton did,” McCann stated. “We have some strength in depth, but not enough to make that many changes.
“It was always likely to be tough tonight as we spent so much energy at Aston Villa, but I was pleased with how the lads dug in and got the job done.
“We didn’t play anywhere near as fluently as we can. We looked lethargic, but I am delighted with the character and desire we showed.
“We’re two points off the play-offs in League One, we are still in the FA Cup and now we are two wins from Wembley. It’s been a great effort by the players.
“This game wasn’t the best of spectacles. It started off like a basketball match with end to end action and maybe a goal would have sparked us into life.
“The players know they can’t just turn their form on and off, but if you can’t play well, make sure you still grind out a result and we managed that. We kept them at bay in the second half and almost snatched the win towards the end of 90 minutes. Our application was good, our quality not so good.
“It was a penalty shootout of unbelievable quality though. We didn’t even practice penalties before the game. We did before we played Northampton and we lost that one.
“Penalties are all about showing the character to stick your hand up and want to take one. My lads did that tonight and I’m delighted to get through to the next round.”
The quarter final draw takes place on Thursday (January 11).
Posh are at League One leaders Wigan on Saturday (January 13) and are likely to be without midfielder Leo Da Silva Lopes who damaged a hamstring in the first half tonight.
Top scorer Jack Marriott bruised his foot late on, but he’s expected to be fit for Wigan.