Peterborough United manager wants his side ‘to smell blood’ as he laments ‘two points dropped’ against Bristol City

Peterborough United Manager Grant McCann encourages his players at Bristol City. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.comPeterborough United Manager Grant McCann encourages his players at Bristol City. Photo: Joe Dent/
Peterborough United Manager Grant McCann encourages his players at Bristol City. Photo: Joe Dent/
Peterborough United boss Grant McCann was left disappointed with his side’s failure to win at Ashton Gate on Saturday (April 9).

Posh had much the better of the first half chances but ended up going into the break 1-0 down after conceding just before the break.

They were further hampered by the sending off of Joe Ward on the hour mark but battled back well to level and take a point.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Despite the spirited effort of his side though, McCann was disappointed to leave with only a point.

He said: “I’m disappointed, I thought we were so much in control of the first half. I could see that we were forcing Nigel into making a change.

“We changed the system today, we wanted to get their wingbacks against our fullbacks and get Ricky and Kwame in behind and we did that really well in the first half and created so many opportunities. We should be 3 or 4-0 up but if you don’t take your chances in the Championship, you get punished.

“We have to show more calmness. I said to the boys at half time that this is the Championship, you have to take those chances. We have to smell blood and, at the minute, I don’t think we do. When we’re on top in a game, we don’t smell it. We had to score in that spell in the first half. We’re still working on that though and we are working to get better every day.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“When I came in after the game, I said you must fell the disappointment and must understand we have to score in that spell but I’m really proud of how you’ve responded and the grit and determination you showed.

“I think it’s a common theme for most of the season. They boys were saying in there that they’ve been in games for most of the season, just haven’t taken the opportunities. I’m more pleased as a manager and staff that the boys are fighting and giving it their all. I can’t be on the pitch and score the chances for them, they have to show that quality and calmness to take the chances when they come.

“Over the last 7 games, I think we’ve been really competitive and we’ve had massive opportunities to win games, particularly the four we’ve drawn and we have to get better at that.”

Jonson Clarke-Harris was made captain for the game and repaid his manager’s faith with his sixth goal in his last six matches. The forward’s form has been key to Posh’s unlikely push for survival. Courtesy of losses for Reading, Barnsley and Derby today, Posh did actually close the gap to safety to nine points.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

They will have to head into the Good Friday game against Blackburn without Joe Ward though, who will serve a one-game suspension.

McCann added: “He (Clarke-Harris) is in great goalscoring form. We made him the captain today because he’s a leader, experienced, a good communicator, he’s a popular figure in the dressing room and he’s in good form. I’m really pleased with him, giving him the captaincy was an easy decision. He probably wishes there was 25 games left because he feels like he can score every week at the minute.

“Joe has tried to make a last-ditch tackle. He’s not a natural full back, I think a neutral fullback wouldn’t have been in that position. It’s not a criticism of Joe, he’s tried his best. It’s a sending off of course, but I though the referee was inconsistent today and they game was a bit stop start. It’s not the referee’s fault though about the result, we should have been in front at half-time.”

Posh are still bottom, but are now level on points with Derby and only a point behind Barnsley who are 22nd.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.