Grant McCann thanked his players for handing him a first blank of the season after they ‘got the job done’ against Southampton’s youngsters last night (August 29).
Yet the Posh chief soon found himself batting away another grilling about the destiny of the club’s jewel in the crown, Marcus Maddison.
Maddison had far too many tricks for the Saints academy players during a Checkatrade Trophy stroll at The ABAX, and how much must McCann be wishing that chairman Darragh MacAnthony lets his heart rule his head before the transfer window closes tomorrow.
Rumour has it that Posh have received at least one bid for attacking midfielder Maddison, who is in the final year of his contract.
McCann was asked if he still expected Maddison to line up against Darren Ferguson’s Doncaster side on Saturday.
“Of course. But, if he’s not, then we always have a Plan B,” McCann insisted. “You’ll need to ask the chairman about it as it’s not really for me to say.
“Whatever happens in the window, happens. I’m not expecting anything too big to happen. If it does, then we’ve always got a contingency plan.”
He added: “Marcus was outstanding tonight. He’s been consistently good for us since he reported back for pre-season. His attitude is top drawer, but we need to focus on Doncaster now.”
McCann also praised debutants Conor O’Malley, who started in goal and rewarded his manager with his first clean sheet this term, and defender Liam Shephard, who replaced the lively Leo Da Silva Lopes for the last 15 minutes.
Posh lead Southern Group H by a point as Northampton picked up just two points for requiring a penalty shoot-out to overcome Cambridge United.
He said: “It’s a great start for us.Technically Southampton were very good but we got the job done.
“It was good for Conor to keep a clean sheet on his first start, and also for Liam to make his debut. And I thought Idris Kanu was excellent.
“They’ve all given me something to think about now.
“We needed to make sure that we’ve got one foot in the next round, and we wanted to make sure we came out of this evening on top of this league as well.
“There are now two derbies coming up in this competition, so they are good games for the fans.”
Peterborough’s next game in the competition is on October 3, when Northampton visit The ABAX Stadium.