MATCH REACTION: Manager tips teenager to play in the Premier League despite criticism from Peterborough United crowd

Posh teenager Leo Da Silva Lopes is consoled by manager Grant McCann.
Posh teenager Leo Da Silva Lopes is consoled by manager Grant McCann.
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Peterborough United manager Grant McCann has thrown his weight behind under fire teenage midfielder Leo Da Silva Lopes.

The 19 year-old returned from a hamstring injury to help Posh to a third round FA Cup tie at Aston Villa in the new year, but his performance was loudly criticised by a small number of the 2,500 home fans at the ABAX Stadium.

Da Silva Lopes was substituted after an hour of a 5-2 win over National League side Woking and his departure seemed to please some Posh fans.

It’s criticism McCann finds hard to understand.

“I have to be careful when talking about the crowd reaction to Leo in case I say something I regret,” McCann moaned.

“But I wish the fans could see what I and the rest of the players see and recognise what a top young talent we have at our club.

“I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Leo plays in the Premier League one day. He really is that good.

“He’s top drawer already and he’s improving because his attitude is outstanding and he works hard every day.

“Leo doesn’t deserve the criticism he sometimes gets.”

Da Silva Lopes is just 19, but has already racked up 83 appearances for his sole professional club.