MATCH REACTION: Blame the players not the manager says Peterborough United’s man-of-the-match

Posh man-of-the-match Michael Smith. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.
Posh man-of-the-match Michael Smith. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.
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Michael Smith admits Peterborough United’s players not the manager are to blame for the club’s collapse in the second half of the League One season.

The Northern Irish right-back collected the sponsors’ man-of-the-match prize for his performance in today’s (March 18) 1-1 draw at home to struggling Oldham.

That results means the Posh record in League One in 2017 reads P16 W4 D3 L9. Just 15 points have been taken from a possible 48 as Posh have slumped to 12th in the League One table.

And Smith knows in which direction the flak should fly,

“It’s all down to the players,” Smith admitted. “As individuals and as a team we have let the manager, his staff and the fans down.

“The gaffer has been brilliant. He comes in every day in a positive frame of mind. He tries to keep us all upbeat and during games he asks us to express ourselves and to play.

“If we make a mistake he doesn’t berate us, he tells us to forget it and to keep on playing.

“That’s the sort of manager I want to play for. I don’t want to play for someone who just shouts and bawls all the time.

“The players are trying hard. We are going onto the field and trying to win games for the manager and for the club, but it’s just not happening for us.

“There have been a few signs of a return to form over the last couple of games, but we needed to win them both and we didn’t. We didn’t defend well at Chesterfield (a 3-3 draw on March 14) and we didn’t take the five or six chances to score we had today.

“The form of too many of us has dipped in recent weeks, but we are working hard to put it right. We want a strong finish to the season.

“We will hammer someone 5-0 soon for sure.”

Smith was denied his second goal of the season by a smart save from highly-rated Oldham goalkeeper Connor Ripley.

“I’m cursed,” Smith said. “I’ve only scored one goal in each of the last four or five seasons.”