Peterborough United manager Darren Ferguson refused to get over-excited after his side won for the first time in League One since October 18 today (December 13).
Aaron Mclean’s early goal and a superb free-kick from Erhun Oztumer sealed a 2-1 win at Leyton Orient despite the loss of midfielder Joe Newell to a red card in injury time. Posh remain ninth after the victory, but they are level on points with sixth-placed Rochdale who occupy the last play-off place.
Not that Ferguson was getting carried away.
“Of course I’m pleased,” Ferguson stated. “But one win doesn’t make up for the six previous matches. This is just a start, hopefully, of a much better run of form and results. We have a platform to take into some big games starting with Preston next Saturday (December 20).
“I am pleased for the players though. They’ve had a hard time, but usually I have been watching a set of players who have been working hard in order to get back into winning ways. They have certainly shown the necessary desire and hunger in the last two matches and they deserved their victory today. We showed plenty of character as well.
“I know Orient have been struggling at home, but this is still a hard place to come to and get three points. You will have to battle to get a win here and that’s what we did although we again showed glimpses of our best football as we had in the second-half of the match at Colchester the previous week (December 7).
“The goals were both of very high quality. Harry Beautyman, who has a very good debut, full of energy, and Craig Mackail-Smith did well to get the ball to Joe Newell who delivered a great cross for Aaron’s goal and Erhun’s free-kick was outstanding.
“Erhun has that sort of ability in his locker. He’s scored a lot of free-kicks in his time, but he’s also a dangerous player in open play providing you can get the ball to him in the right positions.
“Erhun always wants the ball and I think Craig and Aaron will be happy to have him playing behind them as he’s always looking to play the strikers in. Erhun is tough enough as well. He was very, very good today.
“We could have kept the ball for longer periods in the first-half and we didn’t make the best use of counter-attacking positions in the second-half, but overall this was a pleasing performance. The goal was a bad one to give away as Christian Burgess tried to nick the ball when he should just have kept Shaun Batt away from our goal, but we defended very well for the most part.
“We almost conceded from the last kick of the match, but the ball ended up in our goalkeeper’s hands rather than in the back of the net so maybe our luck is changing.
“Consistency is the key now. Consistent performances tend to deliver consistent results. We won’t be setting any targets in our current position. We will just prepare for the next game, but we need to see a lot more of what we saw today.
“I would hope that we will emerge stronger for having come out of such a bad run of form.”
Posh host third-placed Preston at London Road next Saturday. Star man Marcus Maddison missed today’s game because of illness, but should be fit enough for the Preston game. Newell will miss the Preston game as he serves a one-match ban for the second red card of his Posh career.