Peterborough United manager thrilled with the performance against Manchester City, but wants 13 similar displays as he plots a great escape from Championship relegation, ‘frightening’ fans, plus Ward injury update

Peterborough United manager Grant McCann was thrilled with his side’s display against Manchester City in a fifth round FA Cup tie at the Weston Homes Stadium tonight (March 1).

By Alan Swann
Wednesday, 2nd March 2022, 12:09 am
Updated Wednesday, 2nd March 2022, 10:30 am

But he’s demanding similar levels of peformance in the club’s remaining 13 Championship matches.

City won the game 2-0 thanks to second-half goals from Riyad Mahrez and Jack Grealish, but Posh pushed the Premier League champions all the way and missed a great chance to open the scoring through Sammie Szmodics soon after the re-start.

“The boys performed to a very high level tonight,” McCann enthused. “The defensive shape and structure were very good and we played with good energy throughout the team. We saw everything we didn’t see on Saturday (a 3-0 home defeat to Hull), but it will take time to get an understanding of our ideas.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Ricky-Jade Jones in action for Posh against Manchester City. Photo: David Lowndes.

“We’ve set a benchmark for the rest of the season now and we can’t afford to step below it in the 13 games we have left. I was really pleased with what I saw from the whole team and the players who came on. It should give then plenty of confidence for the rest of the season. We just need to keep working and keep improving.

“It’s just a shame we didn’t take our chance when it came. Sammie would normally put that away. We were playing against a top class team who have spent a serious amount of money securing some top talent and they don’t give up many chances.

“They have players who can turn games in a heartbeat and that’s what happened. We can’t dwell on it though as we have a tough game at Huddersfield coming up on Friday.”

Teenage forward Ricky Jade-Jones could well start at Huddersfield after an impressive outing against City. McCann also urged the club’s fans to replicate the level of support they delivered tonight.

Posh wingback Hayden Coulson chases Manchester City star Riyad Mahrez. Photo: David Lowndes.

“I don’t normally like singling players out after such a good team performance, but Ricky was top class,” McCann said. “His pace caused all four centre-backs they used problems. It was an amazing night for the players, the club and the city and the support we received was frightening. It was one of the the loudest I can remember at London Road. They just kept going and going and if they keep that up for the rest of the season it can only help us.”

Posh midfielder Joe Ward limped off towards the end game with a dead leg rather than a hamstring problem.

Posh are bottom of the Championship, but are now level on points with Derby County with two games in hand. The Rams lost 1-0 at Cardiff City tonight. Both teams are eight points from safety.