POSH MANAGER’S VERDICT: Westley blames shocking start for Dale defeat

Peterborough United manager Graham Westley encourages his players from the touchline. Picture: Joe Dent
Peterborough United manager Graham Westley encourages his players from the touchline. Picture: Joe Dent
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Peterborough United manager Graham Westley was left rueing the shocking start his side made in their 2-1 defeat to Rochdale yesterday (April 9).

Despite a midweek telling off from Westley, Posh made an awful start to the first period and allowed Rochdale to grab a deserved two-goal lead inside 25 minutes.

“We were lacklustre, nervous and hesitant in the opening 20 minutes of the game and it took us to fall two goals behind until we started playing,” said Westley.

“When we started to drive into the game with belief and purpose we got back into it and then went on to control large parts of it.”

Posh got back into the game thanks to a long-range strike from Michael Smith but never looked like drawing level despite having 70 minutes left on the clock.

Westley said: “It showed a large amount of character for us to bounce back and get into the game but that’s not good enough if you start so poorly. We have to look at it collectively at what went wrong.

“When things aren’t right it is up to us to keep looking for reasons why and to put it right. We have an honest group of players in the team who have shown some good character in recent weeks but we know that we have a lot of work to do.”

Despite having another disappointing League One campaign, Westley has been charged with not just promotion but title ambitions by chairman Darragh MacAnthony.

“We need to step up the quality in depth in the squad which is obvious and it is something that we will do in the summer” said Westley.

“Through the course of the season we have seen the best of our squad produce some really good stuff but also times when we have not performed. We have some exciting youngsters coming through that will help us next season along with the business we will do in the transfer market to ensure we can deliver the title ambitions at the club.”

Westley’s side travel to relegation strugglers Colchester next Saturday. (April 16)