Peterborough United’s caretaker-manager Grant McCann believes Saturday’s (September 12) thumping 5-1 win at Oldham proved the need for out-of-favour players to keep their heads down and work hard.
McCann sprang a selection surprise for his first game in charge by handing striker Lee Angol his club debut and giving midfield play-maker Erhun Oztumer his first start of the season. Ivory Coast striker Souleymane Coulibaly was also recalled and the terrific trio scored all five goals between them.
McCann insisted he was very open-minded about selection when he was asked to succeed axed manager Dave Robertson, but he will continue to reward players who show good form in training and in under 21 matches.
“Erhun had been outstanding in his last three games for the under 21 side,” McCann revealed. “That’s why I picked him. He deserved his chance to show what he can do and I was delighted with his performance at Oldham. I was also delighted for him because got his head down and worked hard while he was out of the team.
“Lee Angol was a tougher selection because, although he had been playing really well, he hadn’t been scoring. I took a chance on him because I could see in training that he was a good finisher so I was thrilled that he came good on his debut,
“I told the lads that I would pick players who show good form in training and in reserves games and I will do the same again this weekend. The motivation for those lads not in the team at the moment should be to show me in training and in the practice games we stage that they should be playing.”
Posh were due to play an internal practice match today (September 15) to assist the return from injury of central defender Jack Baldwin. They travel to Norwich for an under 21 friendly next Tuesday (September 22).
McCann is expected to be in charge of the Posh first team for the visit of second-placed League One side Walsall on Saturday (September 19). Posh chairman Darragh MacAnthony is understood to be interviewing the four names on his managerial shortlist this week and McCann isn’t one of them.
McCann added: “I am in the same boat as I was in last week. I have been asked to prepare the team for Saturday and that’s where my entire focus is at the moment.
“We had a great day at Oldham, but we can forget about that match now and concentrate on playing well and trying to beat Walsall.”
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