PREVIEW: McCann insists Peterborough United won't be intimidated at the New Den
Peterborough United manager Grant McCann insists his side won't be intimidated by events on or off the pitch during their tough League One trip to Millwall tomorrow (February 28, 7.45 pick off)
Premier League champions Leicester City complained to the Football Association about ‘abuse, provocation and intimidation’ towards their players and staff after a shock FA Cup defeat at the New Den earlier this month.
But McCann reckons he’s always enjoyed the atmosphere at Millwall matches and he’s far more concerned about the threat in-form Millwall pose on the field.
Millwall start tomorrow’s match two points and one place above Posh in the League One table. The Lions have not conceded a goal in their last eight competitive matches!
Millwall face an FA Cup quarter-final at Spurs a week on Saturday (March 12) which McCann does believe might have a bearing tomorrow. Millwall have drawn their last two matches 0-0 against relegation candidates Chesterfield and Oldham.
“A run in the FA Cup can galvanise a team, but it doesn’t always,” McCann stated, “Millwall haven’t won either of their last two games.
“But we are under no illusions about the task tonight. Millwall are a top League One team with an outstanding young manager and they’re enjoying another very good season.
“They know League One inside out and their defensive record is impressive. They also have goal threats so we will have to be at the top of our game to get the result we want.
“The atmosphere can be intimidating at the New Den, but I always enjoyed playing there. You have to ignore the crowd and concentrate on your game and we have had some good results there in my time at the club. There’s no way we will be intimidated by, or scared of, the game.”
McCann is expected to stick with the fluid 4-5-1 system he used in Saturday’s (February 25) 3-1 win over Rochdale at the ABAX Stadium, a result that lifted Posh to within three points of the play-off places.
Centre-back Jack Baldwin starts a two-match suspension following his red card against Dale so Michael Bostwick is expected to drop into the back four from midfield. On-loan centre-back Dominic Ball was sent back to parent club Rotherham today after a disagreement over team selection with McCann.
Midfielders Chris Forrester and Anthony Grant are free to return following suspension and both are expected to start. Forrester is expected to skipper the side.
“We will go there full of confidence and determined to enjoy the game,” McCann added. “The system we employed against Rochdale on Saturday worked very well.
“It certainly suited Marcus Maddison and Paul Taylor who love to drift in off the wings and attack defences.
“It’s my job as manager to find a system that suits our attacking threats and hopefully I have. Marcus and Paul are key players - they have 15 and 10 assists respectively.
“We will have to be defensively strong tomorrow which will enable us to get our attacking players the freedom to perform.
“Dominic Ball has returned to Rotherham as he didn’t agree with a team I picked last week. I only want players here who want to play for the club rather than themselves.
“It’s great to have Chris and Anthony available. When Chris is on his game there is no better midfielder in League One. He’s had personal issues that I know about, but others don’t need to know about, which has affected his form.
“He’s fit and raring to go tomorrow as is Anthony.
“Harry Anderson is also fit now and available for selection which is good news. I brought him back from Lincoln so he could challenge for a first team place.”