Peterborough United won't buckle under the pressure of great expectations

Peterborough United boss Grant McCann insists pressure of expectation will not be a concern for his players this season.

By Alan Swann
Thursday, 28th July 2022, 11:00 am
Posh chairman Darragh MacAnthony (left) and manager Grant McCann are relaxed about the new season. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.
Posh chairman Darragh MacAnthony (left) and manager Grant McCann are relaxed about the new season. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.

Whenever Posh set out on a League One season they are viewed as one of the promotion favourites.

It’s the same again this season with Sky Bet currently offering odds of 9/4 on Posh making an instant return to the Championship.

But they spent eight years in the third tier after relegation from the Championship in 2013 before securing a dramatic promotion in 2021 – only to fall straight back down again.

Ben Thompson is a great character. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com

That hasn’t stopped the usual pre-season confidence from chairman Darragh MacAnthony and it’s a view shared by McCann, who won the League One title with Hull City in his last venture at this level.

"I see similarities with that Hull side and this Posh side,” McCann said. “There is the same mix of experience alongside talented youngsters and there is a great spirit in the squad as we set out to get straight back to the Championship.

"I had to bring the experience in at Hull by signing players like Richie Smallwood, but I inherited it here.

"Nathan Thompson will a very important player for us given his knowledge and ability, while players like Jonson Clarke-Harris, Frankie Kent and Jack Marriott have also played a good number of games at this level, and know what it takes to be successful.

"Put those players alongside the talented younger players and it’s a good combination. We also have good characters in the dressing room like Ben Thompson.

"Of course there is expectation at this club in this division, but we can deal with that. We all know why we are here and we will be all out to try and win promotion.

“We are in a good place. We have reaped the benefits in the summer of getting extra work into the likes of Nathan, Johnson and Jack before they came back for pre-season. They all bought into it and they all look sharp.

"There is good competition for places. Everyone is pushing each other and I’m confident we can enjoy a good season.

"Obviously we want to start well, but no-one wins promotion in August or September. It’s where we are at the end of April, start of May that matters.

"That’s where our focus is right now.”