Opposition view: Posh season hit decline after bright start

Peterborough United manager Grant McCann. Picture: Joe Dent/JMP
Peterborough United manager Grant McCann. Picture: Joe Dent/JMP
Pompey player Gareth Evans

Pompey Christmas quiz: Gareth Evans

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Peterborough started the season well, with three successive League One wins, but since then form has really fluctuated.

It has been a gradual decline, with three wins out of the next 13, and suddenly they are at their lowest position all season in 11th.

There have been the notable scalps of Wigan and Shrewsbury during those victories, so they can do it.

However, five wins and four losses at home cannot be good.

Inevitably people start to get restless and manager Grant McCann – a local hero from his playing days – is being questioned and some are losing faith in him.

At the start of the season, chairman Darragh MacAnthony said the team had to be in a challenging position by Christmas.

Technically that is still the case, but unless they have a good January I cannot see how they can break into the top six.

The ambition has always been promotion and believing the club can get back into the Championship, there is certainly nothing wrong with aiming high.

The problem with starting so well is when the inevitable slump arrives then it is more disappointing.

There is plenty of talent in the side and, in Marcus Maddison, the Posh possess the team’s outstanding player by some distance.

So far he has nine assists and seven goals, although admittedly takes penalties.

He also achieved the most assists in League One last season.

Maddison recently attracted criticism for going to ground too easily against AFC Wimbledon.

People don’t like that sort of behaviour, nor should they when every time he is tackled he rolls around holding his knee.

Match officials are never fooled, but he can’t help himself.

It will be interesting how two former Peterborough players in Luke McGee and Christian Burgess fare tonight.

To be fair, replacing McGee hasn’t been a problem, although he will get a good reaction from the supporters.

Jonathan Bond, a loanee from Reading, has taken his spot in goal and started the season very well, apart from two goals at Wimbledon.

But on Saturday against Blackpool, Conor O’Malley was handed his Football League debut and he is not too bad.

The young Irishman could well retain his spot.