League One Manager Preview: Grant McCann and Peterborough

Mike Holden by Mike Holden / 17 July 2017, 14:52

Mike Holden (@Ratings_Mike) previews Grant McCann and Peterborough ahead of the upcoming 2017/18 League One season.

Background

Grant McCann’s first full season in charge of Posh brought a top-half finish but it was surprisingly dull, labelled as the least entertaining in the Darragh MacAnthony era by the local newspaper. However, the club has responded in typical fashion, signing three new strikers who netted a combined haul of 70 goals last term. Ricky Miller is the headline attraction after notching 40 for Dover in the National League but he will be banned for the first six matches, handing the initiative to Jack Marriott and Danny Lloyd.

Personality

Drive and determination are probably the most common keywords in McCann’s vocabulary, personal traits with which MacAnthony openly associates. The Ulsterman is an introvert and happy to keep a low profile in the media, allowing his chairman be the official voice of the club. In the dugout, he is primarily concerned with attitude above most technical or tactical concerns, believing the success of any system depends almost entirely on the mindset of the players in executing whatever has been asked of them.

Quote

"The wheels fell off after Christmas last season and we know why. I’ve spoken to Brighton manager Chris Hughton and he’s given me advice on how to keep the players going for an entire season. I’m trying to create a completely different culture this time and I’m already sensing an improved mentality and much more hunger. We made it a priority this time to only sign players who want to win promotion with us rather than players who might fancy using us to get a big move in January."

Verdict

Posh are priming themselves for a switch to 3-5-2 with their summer recruitment, so we shouldn’t expect the return of seven-goal thrillers at London Road anytime soon. McCann has also spoken about signing players whose immediate ambitions align with the club but the proof of the pudding will be in the eating because there’s no escaping the suspicion that MacAnthony is more stimulated by the trading of players as assets rather than actual results. Inconsistency is likely to be the distinguishing feature once again.

Prediction: mid-table

Grant McCann