PREVIEW: Peterborough United desperate to end 2016 with a big bang
The game that will mark the half-way point of Peterborough United's League One season has been labelled a '˜must-win' match by manager Grant McCann.
McCann wants to see Posh reclaim their top six place before they tackle Chelsea in a mouth-watering FA Cup tie at Stamford Bridge on January 8.
And as Posh only have two League games before then, and the second one is away at leaders Scunthorpe on Monday (January 2), victory against struggling Coventry City at the ABAX Stadium on Saturday (December 31) appears essential.
Posh play four League One away games in a row after their clash with Sky Blues side in freefall.
“We’re in a good place for this time of the season,” McCann stated. “But it’s important we kick on now and establish ourselves in the top six. It’s not going to be easy as we face some very tough matches and that includes the one against a Coventry side who will be fighting for their lives.
“But after the disappointment of drawing at home on Boxing Day, it’s important we beat Coventry.
“It’s a must-win game in my eyes now. Winning home matches will be a key to going up this season.
“Our home record is fine, but it could be better. We need to get the win on Saturday and then move on ready for some tough games away from home.
“There are a lot of games in January so it’s a good time to get on a winning run.
“We want to get back in that top six and start putting distance between us and the chasing pack as soon as possible.
“I was pleased on Boxing Day with the attitude of the players. They have put the Chelsea game to the back of their minds. It’s irrelevant for now.”
McCann hopes to have Paul Taylor back in his squad after he failed a late fitness test on a hamstring problem just prior to the Boxing Day draw with Gillingham.
Striker Lee Angol can expect to start a League One match for the first time this season after claiming his first goal of an injury-plagued campaign from the substitutes’ bench against the Gills.
If Posh avoid defeat against Coventry it will be their longest unbeaten run in all competitions of 2016 (six matches).
Posh League One games in January
2 v Scunthorpe (away)
14 v Bury (away)
21 v Swindon (away)
24 v Oldham (away)
28 v MK Dons (home).
Posh also have a League One home match with Southend to reschedule. That game should have been played on January 7.