Why Peterborough United manager Grant McCann has made a positive impact according to a goalscoring hero

Peterborough United forward Sammie Szmodics has praised the man management skills of current first-team boss Grant McCann.

By Alan Swann
Friday, 15th April 2022, 8:32 pm
Sammie Szmodics after scoring for Posh v Blackburn. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.
Sammie Szmodics after scoring for Posh v Blackburn. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.

Szmodics had fallen out of favour towards the end of previous manager Darren Ferguson’s tenure, but has played some decent football since McCann took over at the end of February.

He scored seven minutes from time in today’s 2-1 win against Blackburn Rovers at the Weston Homes Stadium with substitute Jack Marriott netting the winning goal in the 87th minute to keep Posh’s season alive.

Szmodics had started the game in an unfamiliar right wing-back role, but played well enough to earn the sponsors’ man-of-the-match award.

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“The manager’s man management is so different,” Szmodics said. “You can speak to him like he’s your friend, but you also respect him because he’s the manager. He’s really drilled on how we react when we lose possession or make a mistake. If you react well he’s happy. He’s instilled a lot of confidence. We have a young grouo here who are hungry to learn and work hard for the badge and him.

“Before this game he tried to keep the pressure off us, but we knew and the fans knew that this was must-win game. We have to face facts that we have to win every game and that’s what we will try and do. We have nothing to lose.

“The manager pulled me before in the week and said he needed a favour from me. I thought he meant I would be playing in midfield or right up front, but he said he wanted me to play wing-back. That’s not a position I’ve ever played and we were both laughing as he said it. It’s not usual to go from being a 10 to a wing-back. It was a foreign position for me, but I’ll do anything for this club.

“And I enjoyed it. I had plenty of freedom going forward. Sometimes I was playing off Jonno (Clarke-Harris), but then it meant a 60-yard sprint back into position!”

Posh have picked up 10 points in 11 Championship matches under McCann. Posh have lost just of their last eight second tier matches.