Dave Robertson has been confirmed as the manager of Peterborough United.
Robertson (41), the club’s former Academy Director, has signed a three-year contract. He will be assisted by former Posh player Grant McCann who has also signed on for three years.
Chairman Darragh MacAnthony confirmed the appointment today (May 22). He spent two days discussing the job with Robertson and McCann soon after the end of last season and then spoke to other candidates.
The views of the players on a management team who pulled Posh from 16th to ninth place in League One following the departure of Darren Ferguson in February were also taken into account.
MacAnthony expects a negative backlash from some Posh supporters, but insisted he would never be afraid to take tough decisions for the good of his club.
Robertson said: “It is a massively proud moment for myself and Grant. We are really excited for the future. It gives us an opportunity to work with this group of players for longer and build on what we started.”
MacAnthony today issued a statement to the Peterborough Telegraph to accompany his decision:
It read: “The last few weeks have been an experience and an eduction on the recruitment process for a new manager for our football club. The easiest decision would have been to hire an outsider and start from scratch with a lot of things like team rebuilding, chairman-manager relationship, youth policy of the club and the future of the club.
“I wanted to analyse the staleness that had set in for 32 games last season, why we were so inconsistent, the major fitness and injury issues we suffered throughout the season right from pre season, the lack of harmony on the playing side and off the field, and our recruitment policy over last couple of transfer windows.
“So I sat for a good couple of days and listened to a management team who took over in midst of all these issues with 14 games to go, listened to their opinions on the whys and why nots. I also spoke to many of the players and digested the stats top to bottom. Then I listened to future plans presented to me for next season, and the ones following, and where it could lead our club.
“I then took all the information, went away and spoke to other potential candidates. I then listed to myself all the issues we encountered last season such as mass injuries across the board, lack of fitness shown in not winning games late on, major injuries to key players, recruitment of young players who needed a full season in the Football League to adjust and then prosper, the lack of goals in our side and lack of assists from key areas, the London Road pitch and its horrible condition and then asked myself the following questions based on the fact that we fell a couple of wins short of reaching the play offs even with all these issues I’ve just mentioned:
“Would another goal-scorer have got us into the promotion mix?
“Would a proper pre-season under a different sports science department have led to fewer problems injury wise?
“Would we be a fitter team and would this have resulted in more wins late on and fewer losses?
“Would a better pitch at home have resulted in better results for us?
“What could Dave Robertson and Grant McCann achieve if they have a proper pre-season with this young squad and I back them in key areas recruitment-wise?
“They finished pretty much with a 50% win record with a group of players with fitness and injury issues, never mind confidence issues, at the same time
“After looking at it all top-to-bottom, the conclusion I reached was one of pure clarity and that it would be incredibly harsh and possibly foolish to overlook both Dave and Grant and not give them a proper chance to take the squad and club forward. “They work harder then anyone I’ve ever had work for me, the players want to play for them, the younger players know they’ll get a fair crack of the whip and flourish under this new management team.
“They are Peterborough through and through and I think given time and support can improve that winning % up towards the required 60% margin which results in promotion nine times out of 10.
“Sure some of our fans won’t see it as a forward step and will moan about my decision, but that’s what being a chairman is all about, making the tough decisions, not letting sentiment interfere, being methodical when the chance allows itself.
“So I give both Dave and Grant my full backing to refresh our club, get us going again and most importantly to take us back to the championship quickly. They both know what it takes to win, what I want from them and what’s needed to please our fans but also to improve our young squad and to enable them to play with freedom and without regret.
“We will have a superb playing surface next season, four-to-six new recruits in key areas, a phenomenal pre-season plan in place and a young squad one year more mature and fit and available to play 40-50 plus games.
“I’m always optimistic, always will be and next season I honestly feel could be one of our best since I took over the club. The decision is made, now the new management team has to show the football world why it was made and that it was and will be the best decision I’ve made for a long time.”