Peterborough United: Next managerial appointment 'critical' - Darragh MacAnthony

Darragh MacAnthony and Barry Fry
Darragh MacAnthony and Barry Fry at Peterborough's 2-0 defeat by Scunthorpe on Saturday

Peterborough United chairman Darragh MacAnthony says his next managerial appointment is "critical" after sacking Graham Westley.

He was MacAnthony's seventh manager in a nine-and-a-half year reign and left with the club 14th in League One.

"It's probably the most important choice I'll have to make, one I'll have to take my time with," said MacAnthony.

"Next season is critical, it's my 10th year, we'd like it to be the best year yet. We need success."

Former Stevenage boss Westley was dismissed following Saturday's 2-0 home defeat by Scunthorpe, their fourth loss in five league games.

The 48-year-old guided the club into the play-off places in January, having replaced Dave Robertson last September.

But the sale of top scorer Conor Washington, as well as injuries to key players including Jermaine Anderson and Callum Elder, had an effect on results, with Posh losing six of their next seven league matches following their FA Cup fourth-round replay exit to West Brom.

Jermaine Anderson
Midfielder Jermaine Anderson suffered a season-ending knee injury just after winning the Football League's Young Player of the Month award for November

Posh made a number of signings in January, but Adil Nabi, making his second start, was the only one on the pitch at kick-off on Saturday.

MacAnthony admitted that the transfer window was one the club "collectively got wrong", but was even more critical of their home form.

"We've got a terrible home record, we've lost 10 home games this season and it's cost us the play-offs. That in turn lost us probably 30% of our gate," MacAnthony told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire.

"There's a lot of disappointment in the area. Financially it's had an effect, your gates are you lifeblood and season tickets even more so, and there was no arresting the slide.

"Yes, we've been trying a few younger players, but you still expect us to get results against the likes of Scunthorpe.

"Scunthorpe were doing great, they're two points outside the play-offs, but let's look at what we did against them at Christmas (won 4-0)."

MacAnthony said he hoped to have a new manager in place before their pre-season trip to Portugal in late June, and said Grant McCann, in charge for the final two matches of the season, is in contention for the permanent role.

Graham Westley and Grant McCann
Former Peterborough midfielder Grant McCann (right) was assistant to both Westley (left) and Dave Robertson

"Grant will be in consideration should he put his hat in the ring. We'll let him take the next couple of weeks and see how he gets on and in the meantime I'll draw up a list and think about other potential managers," he added.

"I'm very open-minded to all potential candidates. The emails and the phone calls started on Saturday night. People don't mind jumping in people's graves in football when a job becomes available.

"If it's not going to be Grant, I'd like it to be someone who has won or got out of this league before."

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