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Grant McCann praises his Peterborough side’s attitude after draw with Stoke

Huddersfield Town v Peterborough United – Sky Bet Championship – The John Smith’s Stadium
(Image credit: Martin Rickett)

Grant McCann praised his Peterborough side’s attitude after earning a late 2-2 draw against Stoke.

Jonson Clarke-Harris scored a stoppage-time penalty to earn Peterborough a crucial point after Lewis Baker’s spot-kick in the 84th minute looked like securing Stoke a first win in eight.

Jacob Brown had given the visitors a first-half lead only for Clarke-Harris to level five minutes later.

McCann said: “It was two evenly-matched teams in terms of the formations. I was disappointed with the first goal. It was sloppy from us and we didn’t clear. It was a good finish from Jacob Brown, but it was a good response from us.

“I thought we were better in the second half and more positive and on the front foot. Then we get the sucker punch of the penalty decision which looked harsh from where I stood. I’m not sure what Josh (Knight) can do with his hand.

“But we showed real resilience to get back into the game.

“It’s been a frustrating season for Jono but I’m really pleased with him today and Tuesday night.

“I’m proud of the boys and I told them they will get their just rewards for their endeavour and attitude and going to the death today.

“We’ve got to respect the point. It’s a tough division. We performed well for large periods. We’ve got a home game (against Swansea) on Wednesday and we need another disciplined performance.”

Stoke began brightly and nearly took the lead in the seventh minute when Demeaco Duhaney hit a curling effort from the right which hit the post.

Brown struck in the 28th minute after Joe Allen slipped him in down the right-hand side of the area.

The home side equalised five minutes later after a surging run from Josh Knight led to Clarke-Harris curling in a superb left-footed strike from 18 yards out.

Brown should have restored Stoke’s lead 12 minutes into the second half but he skied his shot from inside the area after Josh Tymon sent in a low cross.

Stoke then thought they had won the game after a cross bounced up and hit the hand of Knight which allowed Baker to thump home a penalty.

But when substitute Ricky-Jade Jones’ superb run was ended by Ben Wilmot, Clarke-Harris’ low spot-kick earned Peterborough a point, albeit they remain six points from safety with just 10 matches to go.

Frustrated Stoke boss Michael O’Neill felt his side should have won a second penalty when Josh Maja went down right at the end. He said: “It was the clearest of the three (penalty shouts). Unfortunately the ref is not strong enough to give it. The other two were penalties.

“We’re over 20 points we’ve lost from winning positions this season. It’s something in our make-up at the minute we have to get rid of. Maybe it’s a combination of young players in the team but we have experience. Maybe we’re too reliant on those experienced players.

“For the young players it’s part of their development.

“Our intention was to try and win the game and that makes you vulnerable when you do get ahead because we had too many attacking players on the pitch.

“It was a good finish from Jacob. I thought we controlled the game really well first half. Second half we didn’t get the same momentum but we looked like the team that was always going to win the game.”

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