Match-winner Marcus Maddison was at risk of being a first-half substitute admitted Posh manager Dave Robertson after seeing his side recover from a slow start to beat Colchester United 2-1 at the ABAX.
Robertson had Jack Collison and Jon Taylor readied for action moments after Macauley Bonne had given the visitors a 30th minute lead.
But before he had a chance to bring both players on Maddison struck twice to give Posh the advantage within five minutes of falling behind.
Speaking after the match today (Saturday, August 15), Robertson said his team’s performance in the first half-an-hour was unacceptable although he was pleased with how they reacted to falling behind.
Robertson said: “I thought the game went in waves. I thought we didn’t start the game well at all and I was really disappointed with them, if I’m being brutally honest, in the first 20 minutes of the game.
“We got back into the game. I needed to spark them into action. I got all of the subs up and got them ready. And to be fair the reaction of the players was excellent, but in particular Marcus Maddison with two fantastic strikes.
“Once we got a foothold on the game we steadied ourselves and were much better up until half-time and the 15 minutes after.
“There were some strong words at half-time to make sure they did not start in the same way as the first half and I got the reaction that I wanted.”
On his decision to get Collison and Taylor ready to come on, Robertson later admitted that there could have been changes before half-time.
He said: “It was a simple management technique so they knew the pressure was on them and if they didn’t respond the right way that I would not be afraid of making changes after 30 minutes.
“But to be fair to the players they did respond in the right way and with two quick goals I could not have asked for any more than that.
“There were a number of players I was thinking of taking off. And yes Marcus would have been in the frame, but the response from the group was excellent and that’s exactly what I was after.”
Maddison’s first goal was an effort from the left which flew into the corner, a strike he maintained was a shot and not a cross.
His second a few minutes later was a low drive from 20 yards which should have been kept out.
Robertson said he will not find out until Monday what the prognosis is for Tobi Adebayo-Rowling, who went off in the first-half with a groin injury, and he will want and see if Michael Smith will be fit for Tuesday evening’s match against Sheffield United.
Harry Anderson also went off with a knock against Colchester but that was said to be precautionary.
Tuesday’s match, though, should be an entertaining match according to Robertson due to the weather conditions.
Asked why his side had started slowly in their opening two league fixtures, he said: “One of the things in terms of the tempo, it’s very difficult here at the minute when the sun’s out and the pitch is dry when we start the game.
“In terms of our passing and the tempo that we want to play the conditions don’t allow us to do that.
“But on Tuesday night against Crawley the conditions allow us when we do get the water on the pitch to stay wet.
“I’m pretty sure [next] Tuesday night that the game will be much more free-flowing for that reason.”
Robertson is also expecting his players to be more ruthless when in the lead.
He said: “We had two goals disallowed, a number of chances, but one thing I will be asking my players this week is when we are two-one up and having the amount of chances that we are creating - and the fans are getting behind the team - that’s the time when we have to learn how to be a little bit more ruthless and clinical and finish teams off.
“It’s two games here at London Road, two goals in each, and the pleasing thing is in both games it could have been more.”
Colchester United manager Tony Humes was adamant that Posh goalkeeper Ben Alnwick should have been sent off for handballing outside the area in the second-half, and he felt striker Joe Gormley should have seen red towards the end of the first-half for a late challenge on Matthew Briggs.
Both players received yellow cards.
Robertson, though, did not wish to be drawn on the decisions. He said: ”At the end of the day the referee is out there and has to make a decision. Whatever the decision the referee makes I won’t be contesting them.
“I’m sure Tony might feel a little bit hard done by but I don’t think those decisions would have had any impact on the game.”