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Doncaster Rovers: Peterborough United commentator’s verdict on new boss Grant McCann

Grant McCann
Grant McCann

Doncaster Rovers supporters can expect a similar style of football under Grant McCann to that of Darren Ferguson.

That is the verdict of BBC Radio Cambridgeshire reporter Sam Edwards who commentated on the majority of McCann’s matches in charge of Peterborough United.

McCann was unveiled as Ferguson’s successor on Wednesday evening.

The 38-year-old was skipper during Ferguson’s time at London Road and appears to have developed a similar footballing philosophy after stepping into management himself.

“He very much likes to get the ball down and play through the thirds,” Edwards told the Free Press. “Like Ferguson did.

“They hit teams on the counterattack at times last season.

“They scored goals for fun at the start of last season.

“He likes his team to play out from the back. He will try to get an attractive style of football.”

McCann was sacked by Peterborough in February after a run of seven games without a win, with chairman Darragh MacAnthony feeling a push for the play-offs was in jeopardy.

And Edwards explained Posh had shown a habit of tailing off their form in the second half of campaigns under the former Northern Ireland international.

“He showed plenty of promise at Peterborough,” Edwards said.

“He was getting to grips with it in his first season and was shaping the squad he had inherited.

“It started well but faded off after the New Year. They’d been well positioned when they went to Chelsea in the FA Cup and it went downhill.

“They won the first four games of last season, came to Doncaster and drew but were still top.

“They hit a bit of a sticky patch after that and were in and out of form.

“They beat Villa in the cup with one of the best performances from Posh in recent years.

“Then again, they went off the boil and he lost his job in February.”

McCann’s status as a club legend at Peterborough saw a lower degree of pressure placed upon him during his time and Edwards admits MacAnthony gave him more time to get the job right than he may have others.

And he explained supporters were split on the decision to sack McCann.

“It was very much split and I think because he was such a club legend, he was probably given a bit longer than others would have,” Edwards said.

“When he was sacked I ran a poll amongst fans and it was very much 50-50.

“But both sides could see each other’s point of view and understood it.

“You could see why people would want him to stay and why others thought it was time for him to go.”

Edwards suggests Rovers can expect McCann to show a relaxed demeanour who will look after his players.

“I think he’s pretty laid back as a person,” he said.

“I can remember interviewing the week before he was sacked and he was chilled and relaxed as always.

“He is very much an arm around the shoulder manager. He likes to be close to his players, a relationship of mutual trust.

“He is still finding his way in the game so I would expect Doncaster will be a big test for him.”