If there is no miracle this season, Peterborough United will be ready for a League One title tilt in 2022-23

Chairman Darragh MacAnthony insists Peterborough United will be ready for a League One title tilt next season.

By Alan Swann
Thursday, 24th March 2022, 7:30 am
Peterborough United Manager Grant McCann and his assistant  Cliff Byrne on the touchline at Queens Park Rangers. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.
Peterborough United Manager Grant McCann and his assistant Cliff Byrne on the touchline at Queens Park Rangers. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.

MacAnthony is still praying for a miracle escape from Championship relegation this season after last weekend’s excellent 3-1 win at Queens Park Rangers.

But if the worst happens he’s vowed there won’t be another eight-year wait to get back up to the second tier as he’s been encouraged by the meticulous approach of new first-team manager Grant McCann and his assistant Cliff Byrne.

Significantly the pair led Hull City to the League One title last season, just 12 months after suffering relegation from the Championship.

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Posh chairman Darragh MacAnthony.

“We’ve had some good Zoom meetings recently,” MacAnthony said on the latest edition of his Hard Truth podcast. “I like the plans Grant and Cliff are putting together and it’s obvious the players are buying into their methods.

“Grant is very clear in what he wants. I have to say ‘no’ sometimes, but it’s really struck me how much more he is in to fitness, sports science and diet compared to when I worked with him before.

“It’s not rocket science to see where we have slipped up this season. For the first 75 minutes of matches we are probably a top 15 side, but when it really matters, when the pressure is on late in games we’ve really struggled. Maybe the players haven’t had the conditioning and fitness work they needed.

“You can see the little improvements on the pitch. I’m still looking for a miracle this season, but if the chips fall in a different direction we intend to be ready for a title tilt. We must be competitive as we don’t intend to wait ages to get back up again.

“We have appointed a mangement team who know how to bounce back from a relegation and the manager loves the majority of the current playing squad.

“I’ve seen the comments that this squad would get battered in League One, but that’s nonsense. Most of them have won promotion from League One, the younger players are now stronger and we have good additions in Kwame Poku and Joel Randall. Just imagine the damage a fully fit Jack Marriott and Jonson Clarke-Harris would do.

“The signs are encouraging. Players who have lacked confidence are now standing tall. Sometimes a manager doesn’t get the best out of certain players, but a new manager will. Look how impressive Sammie Szmodics has been in the last few games as he has a manager who loves him. Fresh ideas will do that to players. Everyone is trying to impress and there is definitely a platform there for next season.”