McCann aims to go one better

Friday, 28, March, 2014
Grant McCann of Peterborough

Five years ago Grant McCann erased the memory of a shock Johnstone’s Paint Trophy defeat to Luton Town by winning promotion with Scunthorpe United a month later.

This time, however, the Peterborough United midfielder has his sights set on the Wembley double that eluded him half a decade ago and admits he’s driven on by the painful memories of that defeat to the Hatters in 2009.

“I can remember everyone saying how disappointed they were because all your family is there to watch you,” reflected McCann, “We had a party after but it was a terrible party really because everyone was so disappointed to have lost.

 “We stuck together and ended up getting out of the league but hopefully this time I can go one better.”

At 33 McCann is one of the senior members of Peterborough’s squad and also knows a thing or two about finals having won the play-offs three times during his career.

And the Northern Ireland midfielder says he’s drawn upon that experience to impart a vital lesson to the younger members of the Posh squad.

 “We’ve been trying to drum into the lads this week that you don’t want to go through your career and be known for not winning anything,” said McCann.

“We’ve got a very young squad and it’s good for them to know what it’s like to win something. You don’t want to be known as a nearly man all your life who gets to finals and gets beat. We are making sure our lads know that.”

McCann holds a place in history books as the only man to have won play-off finals at three different venues but he admits one of those games stands out above the others.

“The Millennium Stadium and Old Trafford were good but Wembley is the place everyone wants to play at,” said McCann

“The game against Millwall was amazing. I remember we were 2-1 down then Matt Sparrow equalised and Martyn Woolford got the winner toward the end.

“It was a great day especially after losing the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.”

That shock 2009 final against Luton is certainly still on the midfielder’s mind when Wembleystadium.com asks him whether it makes any difference that League One Peterborough’s opponents on Sunday are League Two’s Chesterfield.

 “It’s a final so, on the day, anyone can win it and who the underdogs are just goes out the window,” replied McCann.

“People might make us favourites but it doesn’t mean anything on the day. If Chesterfield are more up for the game than we are they will win it.”

Having achieved play-off success with Cheltenham, Scunthorpe and current club Peterborough in the past, McCann is desperate to make it four from four this season.

And he isn’t playing down how vital a win on Sunday could be toward achieving that goal.

“If we can get a win on Sunday it’ll lift everyone around the club as well as the fans as and hopefully they can roar us on to cement a play-off place.”