Darren Ferguson praised Peterborough United fans following today’s (October 20) Championship defeat at Watford - even though he was booed when he took striker Emile Sinclair off midway through the second-half.
Almost 1,500 Posh supporters took advantage of cheap admission to watch their team at Vicarage Road. They were in good spirits for the most part - they delivered an emotional tribute to ailing club legend Tommy Robson in the first-half - but some reacted negatively to the substitution of Sinclair for loan striker Saido Berahino.
It was the replacement of Sinclair rather than the introduction of Berahino that angered the Posh fans. The hecklers wanted million-pound man Tyrone Barnett to be substituted.
Posh went to lose the match to a last=minute penalty following a trip by midfielder Kane Ferdinand.
Ferguson said; “Our fans were superb today. They gave a lovely tribute to Tommy Robson - and let’s hope he is getting better because he’s a good man - and they generally got behind the players for 90 minutes.
“They made their feelings known when I took Emile off, but they are entitled to do that. I have no problem with their reaction at all.
“Saido is going to be a good player for us though. It’s just a shame George Boyd didn’t score with his header when Saido delivered the perfect cross.”
Posh have now lost nine out of 11 Championship matches and remain rooted firmly to the bottom of the table. They are six points from safety ahead of two home matches next week against Huddersfield (October 23) and Derby (October 27).
But Ferguson remains convinced that, not only were his side unlucky to lose at Watford, they are capable of climbing out of trouble sooner rather than later.
Ferguson said: “Apart from a 15-minute spell in the second-half I felt we were very comfortable today. They caused us problems down our right side for a while, but we survived that and in the final 15 minutes I could only see one team winning.
“We looked fitter and stronger than they did in the latter stages so to lose the way we did was obviously very disappointing.
“Ironically they caught us out on the break and we helped by making a couple of silly errors. We lost possession on the edge of the area in the first place, but we thought we’d got away with it when their played pulled the ball back too far.
“I don’t know what Kane was trying to do, but he obviously didn’t see their player behind him.
“We definitely deserved a point from the game at least. The crucial moment probably arrived 10 minutes before the goal when George missed the chance to score.
“Heading is not one of his strengths, but he caught that one too well. If he’d glanced it he would probably have scored.
“It’s another frustrating day for us, but I look around my squad and see that we are easily equipped to get out of trouble. The substitutes’ bench is as strong as I’ve ever known it so that shows the depth of the squad.”
Unsurprisingly Watford manager Gianfranco Zola saw things a little differently.
Zola said: “It looked like we were not going to get the win we deserved so I was relieved as well as happy when we did score.
“We deserved it. The longer the game went on the more it was obvious we had the better players.”
Posh used 43 year-old goalkeeping coach Barry Richardson on the substitutes’ bench after allowing second string number one Joe Day to join Eastbourne on loan.
Posh midfielder Lee Frecklington scored on his loan debut for Rotherham as they won a League Two fixture 3-0 at Aldershot.