Caretaker-manager Grant McCann admits his players owe Peterborough United a huge performance in their League One match at Oldham tomorrow (September 12).
McCann will take charge of Posh - for probably just this one game - at Boundary Park and he’s expected to make numerous changes to the side that played poorly in a 2-1 defeat at Southend last weekend (September 5).
Central defender Gaby Zakuani and central midfielder Jermaine Anderson have both returned safely from international duty and will be in a squad that will be lacking Michael Bostwick (suspended) and Kgosi Ntlhe (toe injury) as well as long-term injury victim Jack Baldwin.
“We are stronger with Gaby and Jermaine back,” McCann stated. “But I have told the players that I will be picking my team based on how they trained and how they performed in the under 21 match this week,
“I have no interest in whether or not they think they have played well in recent first team fixtures
“The only thing that matters tomorrow is getting three points. We owe this club a huge performance and I intend to make sure we provide it. I want us to start brightly, to get on the ball straight away and to pass it well. I want us to be brave in possession and to go forward and play in an attractive manner.
“Oldham will play the same way so it should be a great game, but it’s one we need to win.”
McCann is not though thought to be on chairman Darragh MacAnthony’s four-man shortlist for the Posh manager’s job. He would however be open to working under a new man.
“I’m just focusing on the job at hand at Oldham,” McCann added. “I’m not taking much notice of the other stuff.”
Centre back Jack Baldwin is moving closer to a first team return after a 12-month absence with a knee ligament injury. The club have arranged an internal practice game for the 21 year old next week.
“Jack looks a million dollars for someone who has been out so long,” McCann said. He’s probably one of the fittest players at the club thanks to all the work he is doing with the physio,”
Posh under 21s lost 4-1 to Southend in a private friendly match this week. Erhin Oztumer scored the goal. Posh have not entered a reserve team league this season.
Anderson played the final 12 minutes for England Under 20s as they went down 1-0 to the Czech Republic at Shrewsbury on Monday (September 7). He had played 45 minutes of a 5-0 victory against the same opposition at St George’s Park the previous Friday.
Zakuani played 90 minutes for DR Congo in a 2-0 defeat to the Central African Republic in an African Cup of Nations qualifier this week.