Manager Grant McCann insists Peterborough United’s season is very much alive despite the dropping of more League One points today (February 24).
Posh required a late equaliser from Marcus Maddison to claim a point from a 1-1 draw with lowly AFC Wimbledon at the ABAX Stadium. That’s four draws in a row for McCann’s men who remain 10th in the table, six points outside the League One play-off places.
A win from a game in hand at home to Walsall on Tuesday (February 27) would move Posh up to eighth and they would be three points behind sixth-placed Plymouth having played a game fewer and with a superior goal difference. The Posh playing surface was covered straight after today’s game as protection against a poor weather forecast over the next few days.
McCann was pleased with his side’s second half display today after a first-half performance he described as ‘unacceptable’. The Posh boss changed shape to 4-4-2 for the start of the second-half by bringing striker Omar Bogle on in place of midfielder Anthony Grant, although they still fell behind to a 75th-minute strike from Lyle Taylor.
“We were good second half,” McCann insisted. “We were on top when we fell behind, but we showed good character to come back and equalise.
“It’s good that we are not getting beaten, but we obviously need to turn these draws into wins to get where we want to be and we are all confident we can do it.
“To listen to some people around the ground after the game you’d think we were bottom of the league and about to get relegated, but we are six points off the play-offs with two games in hand on the team in sixth so the season is very much alive.
“Many teams up there are wobbling and there will be many ups and downs before the season finishes.
“The alternative is to give up and go on holiday which won’t be happening.
“We were lacklustre and lethargic in the first-half. There were too many players just walking about. Marcus Maddison and Danny Lloyd played too wide so weren’t giving Jack Marriott any support. We had to change things because that performance wasn’t acceptable.
“The changes did make a difference. Once Omar Bogle warmed up he started getting us up the field and he had a couple of decent shots on goal.
“We were unfortunate to fall behind, but the response was good. It was an outstanding goal we scored. There was some great play by Chris Forrester and a clever pass from Jack Marriott followed by a good finish from Marcus Maddison.
“We looked the more likely side to win it in the second-half, but the ball wouldn’t fall for us in the penalty area.”
McCann gave teenage left-back Lewis Freestone his first appearance of the season today after Andrew Hughes pulled out with a hip injury. Hughes could return for the Walsall game, but central defender Ryan Tafazolli must be a huge doubt after limping off with an apparent hamstring injury at half-time today.
“Lewis Freestone is an excellent young professional,” McCann added. “I was always prepared to give him a start rather than play anyone out of position and he did well.”