PREVIEW: Peterborough United chairman issues ultimatum, but manager remains confident

Posh chairman Darragh MacAnthony (left) with manager Grant McCann.
Posh chairman Darragh MacAnthony (left) with manager Grant McCann.
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Peterborough United chairman Darragh MacAnthony has warned his under-achieving players that reaching the play-offs is a minimum requirement this season.

But MacAnthony has also backed manager Grant McCann to inspire a late-season run into the play-offs.

Alex Penny (centre) has undergone an operation on his shoulder.

Alex Penny (centre) has undergone an operation on his shoulder.

MacAnthony took to Twitter to express his frustration soon after last Saturday’s draw at Gillingham. Posh subsequently drew 2-2 at home to Scunthorpe on Tuesday and those results left Grant McCann’s men in 10th place, but still only five points adrift of the final play-off position.

MacAnthony said: “No-one should believe all this ‘miracles been worked’ nonsense as this squad is good enough and it is time to show it. The financial backing I have given in the transfer market/contracts/loans means the play-offs is the bare minimum required.

“Sign experience they all said. We did and we’ve dropped too many points from winning position and conceded too many late goals.

“We must buck those trends in the remaining matches.”

Midfielder Jermaine Anderson is fighting for a Posh first team place.

Midfielder Jermaine Anderson is fighting for a Posh first team place.

And the chairman was back on Twitter yesterday (February 15) to express his confidence on McCann.

“Easy to always blame management,” MacAnthony said, “But sometimes players have to defend/do their jobs.

“The reality is sitting on one-goal leads doesn’t come from me or the manager. It’s not who we are, but some more experienced players tend to do that and it hurts us. They have to be braver and quickly as sitting on one-goal leads is a recipe for disaster for us.

“The manager is well aware of what’s expected this season, where we are falling short and how to fix it, so no doubt he and his staff are working every day to fix it. I am confident he has the tools each and every day to do it, so now we all nee dto let let him get on with putting it into practice.

“There is too much emphasis on tactics/formations for me these days. My own brain is fuzzed over 442/352/433 etc etc. We need 11 players picked to apply themselves with every ounce of energy/effort they can muster & be strong mentally.”

Meanwhile McCann remains confident of a Posh surge to the top six ahead of Sunday’s (February 18) League One trip to Blackpool.

He has warned the club’s critics to write his team off at their peril.

McCann said: “I’m not bothered by dropping a place in the table. That doesn’t interest me.

“We are still close, we are still in there fighting and we are very close to being a very good side.

“We will stay positive. There is no point in just picking out the negative bits.

“Obviously there is disappointment at not winning games, but we are confident going into the run-in that we can reach the top six.”

Posh could be down to 12th before they meet Blackpool at Bloomfield Road. Bristol Rovers and Gillingham could both overtake Posh when they play tomorrow.

Full-back Alex Penny is expected to miss the rest of the season as his shoulder injury requires surgery.

MacAntnony revealed that a bid from a top four League One club to sign midfielder Jermaine Anderson on transfer deadline day was rejected. Anderson also rejected the idea of going out on loan in order to fight for his place at Posh. The 21 year-old has yet to start a match in 2018.