Aaron Mclean has put his own personal future on the back burner in order to push Peterborough United firmly back into the League One promotion race.
Mclean scored the first goal of his loan spell at Posh in last weekend’s (December 13) 2-1 win at Leyton Orient. It was a first League One win in seven matches for Posh, one that left them in ninth place, but level on points with sixth-placed Rochdale.
Mclean is due to return to parent club Bradford City at the end of January, but Posh boss Darren Ferguson is keen to extend his stay until the end of the campaign. Mclean has 18 months on his City contract remaining, but it’s understood he would be allowed to leave on a free transfer as City want him off the wage bill.
A current weekly wage in the region of £5k would be prohibitive if Posh wanted to make the move permanent. Mclean could also of course become a target for other clubs in January, especially if he continues his current good form.
“My focus right now is entirely on trying my hardest for Posh in every game,” Mclean stated. “I want to have an influence on results while I am here by scoring some goals and helping the team win some games.
“I’m here until the end of January at the moment and I’m not thinking beyond that.”
Mclean and his former Posh striker Craig Mackail-Smith are both back at London Road on loan. Mackail-Smith is expected to return to struggling Championship club Brighton after the League One match against Doncaster at the ABAX Stadium on December 28. That will also be centre-back Gaby Zakuani’s last game before he heads off to the African Cup of Nations with DR Congo.
All three should start tomorrow’s (December 20) tough-looking League One clash with Preston at the ABAX Stadium.
“It’s a hard game tomorrow,” Mclean added. “Preston are near the top for a reason, but it’s important we get some momentum from the win at Orient by winning again.
“It won’t be easy as Preston have some good players like Jermaine Beckford, but there has been a good buzz about the place this week and we need to take advantage of that.
“If we stay solid as a unit, defend well and restrict them to few chances we will do well as I fancy we can create chances of our own.
“I sense the telepathy coming back with me and Craig. When fully match-fit there are no better strikers at this level than Craig.”
Midfielder Joe Newell is suspended tomorrow following his red card at Orient last weekend. Marcus Maddison will replace him if Posh officials think his tender ankle will help him play 90 minutes.
Otherwise Michael Bostwick could move into midfield with Michael Smith returning to the side at right-back.
Winger Jon Taylor is recovering well from his knee operation and could be fit for the home League One match with Colchester on January 10.