Posh boss McCann expecting ‘really tough game’ against struggling Cobblers

Peterborough United boss Grant McCann
Peterborough United boss Grant McCann

Peterborough United boss Grant McCann has warned his players against complacency ahead of Saturday’s Sky Bet League One local derby against the Cobblers at Sixfields.

On paper it’s a banker away win for the Posh, as McCann’s second-placed team have won their first three matches of the league campaign, while second-from-bottom Cobblers have lost all three to date.

I believe Northampton have recruited well in the summer. They’ve spent money and they’ve offered some decent contracts. They will be a much stronger team this season when they settle down

Peterborough United boss Grant McCann

But McCann is wary of that sort of prediction, and believes his team are in for a testing afternoon at a packed Sixfields,

“It could well be our fans are expecting a 5-0 win and their fans are expecting a heavy defeat,” said McCann, whose team will be backed by a 1,400-strong away following.

“But local derbies don’t work like that and the formbook can be ignored.

“We will approach this game in exactly the same way as we’ve approached the first three games.”

McCann believes his Posh team, who have beaten Plymouth Argyle, Bristol Rovers and Rotherham United this term, will be coming up against a Cobblers team stronger than the one they beat twice last season.

After a gap of seven years without a derby, Rob Page’s Town suffered a 3-0 humiliation at London Road in October, before Posh pinched a 1-0 Sixfields victory a month later thanks to a lasp-gasp winner from Chris Forrester.

Since then, the Cobblers have got themselves a new manager in Justin Edinburgh, and he has completely revamped the squad this summer.

A total of 14 new players have been signed, and McCann admits he has been impressed with the Cobblers’ rebuilding, even if the results aren’t showing it just yet.

“I believe Northampton have recruited well in the summer,” said the Northern Irishman, who is starting his second full season in charge at London Road.

“They’ve spent money and they’ve offered some decent contracts. They will be a much stronger team this season when they settle down.

“I don’t expect anything other than a really tough game against opponents who will be desperate to get that first win.

“We must match their commitment and aggression and then impose our game on them.”

And he added: “We enjoyed the derby results last year.

“We won them both and we want to experience the same excitement and joy again, but anyone thinking we just have to turn up to win is greatly mistaken.”