Peterborough United manager Grant McCann believes tonight’s (February 14) 2-1 win over Shrewsbury at the ABAX Stadium will be a positive turning point for his side.
It was a first League One win at home since December 10 for McCann’s men. The three points pushed Posh up a place to eighth, but they remain three points outside the play-off zone.
Central defenders Ryan Tafazolli and Dominic Ball - with the first goal of his career - scored the Posh goals in the final 20 minutes after in-form Shrewsbury - they brought a six-game unbeaten run into the game - had taken the lead from a first-half penalty.
On-loan striker Stephen Humphrys scored from the spot, but he was sent off early in the second-half after picking up a second yellow card for failing to retreat quickly enough at a free kick.
McCann believes his team would still have won against 11 men.
“We were playing well enough,” McCann insisted. “We dominated the first 30 minutes before wobbling a bit after they scored.
“But we had a very positive team talk at half-time. The lads went out onto the pitch in good spirits confident they would turn the game around.
“Sometimes when a team goes down to 10 men it can get very difficult and it’s often the case that set-pieces become important.
“Fortunately Paul Taylor delivered two great crosses and Ryan and Dominic produced two excellent headers. I was pleased for ‘Taf’ as he has got in some great positions without scoring this season. One of the reasons I brought him to the club is because he is so good in both penalty areas.
“It’s a massive win for us after losing at the weekend. I felt we would go on and win even against 11. Pressure had been building up on us at home so coming from behind to win should give us a massive boost in confidence.
“It could be a big turning point for us.”
McCann made three changes to his starting line-up after Saturday’s (February 11) 1-0 home defeat at the hands of League One leaders Sheffield United. Strikers Craig Mackail-Smith and Tom Nichols were left on the substitutes’ bench, while midfielder Brad Inman was left out of the 18-man squad altogether. Left-back Andrew Hughes was also dropped from the squad.
Lee Angol and Junior Morias were paired up front with skipper Chris Forrester restored to the starting line-up as Posh employed a 4-4-2 formation.
Taylor replaced Marcus Maddison for tactical reasons at half-time in what turned out to be an inspired substitution.
McCann added: “Lee and Junior have played together many times in the past and they have a good record, scoring 40 goals between them for Boreham Wood.
“I wasn’t sure Craig Mackail-Smith would manage Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday which is why I left him out. He said he would be okay, but I felt Junior and Lee did well enough. They out themselves about.
“Brad Inman was left out for a similar reason to Craig, while I felt I needed an extra attacker on the bench which is why I left Andrew out. I took Marcus off at half-time as I thought a fresh Paul Taylor would cause them problems and he did.
“There is serious competition for places now, particularly in midfield, and I will need the entire squad in the remaining 15 games.”
Posh are in the middle of a busy February. They travel to mid-table Walsall on Saturday (February 18) before hosting seventh-placed Millwall next Tuesday (February 21).