Peterborough United manager Dave Robertson is determined to take a positive attitude into tonight’s (August 25, 7.45pm kick-off) Capital One Cup second round cup-tie with Championship side Charlton at the ABAX Stadium.
Posh have made a sluggish start to the season with three defeats in their first four League One outings. They went down 2-1 at Burton Albion on Saturday (August 22) in heart-breaking circumstances when midfielder Jermaine Anderson saw a last-gasp ‘goal’ chalked off incorrectly.
Robertson has sent video evidence alongside his referee report to the Football League, but he insists the club’s focus is now on claiming a higher-level cup scalp.
“We are concentrating on what we can effect rather than what we can’t,” Robertson stated. “We can’t alter a refereeing decision, but we can make sure we are ready to deliver a good performance in front of our own fans and make progress in the cup.
“I’m excited by this draw. Cup matches on a Tuesday at the ABAX Stadium are usually fantastic nights and I’m expecting us to play well in what should be a cracking game.
“Charlton are going well in the Championship and they were excellent in beating Hull with a last-minute goal on Saturday, but we will not be paying them too much respect as we want to concentrate on our own game and beat them.
“Okay we haven’t had good results in our last two games, but we can still take plenty of positives into this match.
“If we keep playing as well as we have been playing we will win more games than we will lose. We can draw plenty of positives from our performance levels. We’ve just been unfortunate at key times, but we will stick together as a team and get through this.
“We will make sure we are fully at it from the first whistle and if we do that we will pull through this run with flying colours.”
Posh will again be without key defenders Jack Baldwin, Michael Smith and Kgosi Ntlhe. Gaby Zakuani will also be suspended unless the club make an unlikely appeal against his red card at Burton.
In the absence of Zakuani, Posh would probably have to play transfer-listed centre-back Shaun Brisley alongside Ricardo Santos with on-loan Chelsea defender Alex Davey staying at left-back.
Midfielder Jack Collison is fit after resting from the Burton game and Robertson may stick with the 4-3-3 formation he employed in that game.
Goalkeeper Ben Alnwick will skipper the side again after out-of-form midfielder Michael Bostwick relinquished the armband at the weekend.
Robertson added: “I had a chat with Michael ahead of the Burton game and we agreed that he should concentrate on trying to get back to the very high standards he set in the second-half of last season. Midfielders were coming to our place scared of Michael as he was dominating teams through his presence and his ability.
“I did think Jermaine Anderson was outanding at Burton though. He was in possession 40 times and kept possession 38 times. We’ve worked on improving his forward passing and the energy levels he showed in getting forward were impressive. This is the Jermaine Anderson we want to see week in, week out.
“The formation worked okay, but Marcus Maddison and Harry Anderson didn’t get forward in support of Souleymane Coulibaly quickly enough and obviously we must cut out the errors in concentration that cost us two goals.
“All the information about opponents is available for the players before the game. They must make sure they take it all in.
“I want a team who are focussed and who leave everything on the pitch. If they do that every game, they will please me, the fans and their team-mates.”
Extra time and penalties will be used if the scores are level at 90 minutes tomorrow.