McCann defends his Doncaster team against Peterborough United accusations of poor sportsmanship

Grant McCann celebrates a Doncaster goal against Posh. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.
Grant McCann celebrates a Doncaster goal against Posh. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.
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Doncaster manager Grant McCann defended his team’s actions after a controversial 3-1 League One win over Peterborough United yesterday (February 9).

Some Posh fans vented their anger at their former manager after McCann engineered a come-from-behind win against 10 men at the Keepmoat Stadium. The win lifted Doncaster above Posh into the final play-off place and they have two games in hand, the first of which is at home to Southend on Tuesday (February 12).

Posh striker Ivan Toney in action against Doncaster. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.

Posh striker Ivan Toney in action against Doncaster. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.

Posh suffered a first-half red card for the second match in succession as Tyler Denton was dismissed for picking up a second yellow card. Posh led through George Cooper’s lovely sixth-minute goal, but Doncaster scored three times in 11 second-half minutes to claim a vital win.

Doncaster’s third goal caused much controversy as the home side failed to return the ball to Posh after goalkeeper Conor O’Malley had thrown it out of play on purpose in the belief that teammate Joe Ward required treatment.

“I have no idea what Posh are complaining at,” McCann, who dismissed a suggestion he might have considered conceding a goal to Posh as a result of his players actions, said after the game. “I have no idea why O’Malley put the ball out. We did the right thing. My goalkeeper wouldn’t have put the ball out in that situation. We did nothing wrong. “It was a great strike by Kieran Sadlier who had been an outcast at Peterborough though.

“I was pleased how we reacted to playing against 10 men. It was a big teamtalk for me at half-time. I didn’t want my players to get involved in any nonsense. I felt they would try and get Mallik Wilks sent off after what had happened in the first-half, but we coped well with the game.

“We switched the play effectively. We tried to play through their diamond too often in the first-half, but we were much more effective after the break.

“There are no complaints from me about the red card. He was booked for an accumulation of time-wasting by the Peterborough team and his second yellow card was an obvious one.

“The referee was also right not to send Mallik off after his clash with Toney who went down like he’d been hit by Mike Tyson. A yellow card was right in that instance.

“The win wasn‘t a particularly sweet one for me. It was really just another game for me and the team. It makes no difference to us whether we are playing Peterborough or Southend, we just want to win.

“Our home form is excellent. That’s seven wins and two draws in our last nine matches and I’m enjoying watching us play. The lads were disappointed not to win by more which is the sort of mentality I like, the desire to score as many goals as possible.”

McCann shrugged off criticism of Wilks’ gesture to the Posh bench after he was substituted, claiming: “Mallik likes to rub people up the wrong way. Peterborough have a player like that in Marcus Maddison. Enigmas are often like that.”