Peterborough United manager Grant McCann accused his players of going through the motions in the first-half of today’s (March 18) 1-1 League One draw with lowly Oldham at the ABAX Stadium.
Posh trailed at the break, but rescued a point when substitutes Marcus Maddison and Junior Morias combined for a goal 17 minutes from time. Morias celebrated his fisrt home goal and almost added another a few minutes later, again after fine work from Maddison.
Maddison had replaced in-form Paul Taylor at the break. Taylor picked up a slight hamstring strain during the first-half.
McCann also decided to ‘rest’ goalkeeper Luke McGee after 38 consecutive appearances, while central defender Ryan Tafazolli was absent for the first time in 34 matches with a slight hamstring problem. Mark Tyler made his 496th appearance in goal for Posh at the age of 39.
“We keep shooting ourselves in the foot,” McCann moaned. “We keep conceding the first goal and that makes any game difficult.
“It was a sloppy goal to concede as well with one ball taking out Michael Bostwick and Andrew Hughes. It was a good finish by the lad, but we work combating that sort of sloppiness all the time.
“Once the players cross the white line they have to roll their sleeves up and be prepared to die for the club rather than concede a goal, but we were caught sleeping.
“We saw plenty of ball in the first-half, but I felt too many of us were going through the motions. We were jogging rather than sprinting and we weren’t committed enough to get in the penalty area and get on the end of crosses. Michael Smith played a couple of great crosses that went begging.
“I got into them a bit at the break and there was sort of a response. We got about them a bit better, but we didn’t play well.
“Luckily the substitutions made a difference. Marcus always produces something when he gets the ball on his left foot and it was an excellent finish from Junior. He could have scored again soon afterwards, but Oldham also had chances to win the game.
“Oldham make life difficult for opponents. They don’t let many goals in, but we are much better than what we showed. Marcus and Junior gave us an edge. Before they came on too many of our attacks just petered out.
“Two points from games against Chesterfield and Oldham is not what we wanted or expected, but at least we didn’t lose and we will dust ourselves down and go again at Gillingham next Saturday (March 25).
“No-one is getting down. No-one is falling out with me or my staff. We will keep drumming positive messages into the squad and look for a better result next weekend.”
McGee and Tafazolli are expected to return to the squad at Gillingham. Taylor will be assessed early next week.
McCann added: “I just decided to give Luke a mental break. He’s used to playing once a month at Spurs, but he’s played an awful lot of games in a row for us.
“He’s been getting a bit down in the dumps about his performances so I felt he needed a breather. He’s fatigued. He’ll be given a few days off next week as well.
“Ryan would have struggled to get through today’s game, but he will be back training on Tuesday. Paul Taylor felt his hamstring tighted at Chesterfield and it felt worse today so he made absolutely the right call to come off at half-time.”