POSH PREVIEW: Lowly Shrews will be a tough nut to crack

Attacking midfielder Marcus Maddison is pushing hard for a Posh first-team recall. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.
Attacking midfielder Marcus Maddison is pushing hard for a Posh first-team recall. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.

Peterborough United manager Graham Westley expects lowly Shrewsbury to be a ‘tough nut to crack’ in the League One fixture at the ABAX Stadium tomorrow (December 12).

The Shrews have been towards the bottom of the table all season following their promotion from League Two last season.

In-form Jon Taylor starts for Posh at Blackpool - Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.

In-form Jon Taylor starts for Posh at Blackpool - Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.

But Westley points to the recent form of tomorrow’s visitors as a reason for Posh to not to let their recent high standards drop,

Posh have won their last six competitive fixtures. They’ve won their last four at the ABAX Stadium.

Westley said: “Shrewsbury are very much the side you would expect them to be. They say they are desperate to stay in this division and they are proving that by working hard, playing a very rugged style of football and by grinding out some decent results.

“They have just picked up four points from four games against tough League One opposition in Sheffield United, Wigan. Walsall and Gillingham. That’s not bad form.

“They have a lot of experience in their side and they have a threat so we will need to keep our own standards high to get the result we need.

“But we are playing some very good football. We have 29 points from our last 14 games and the top sides in League One can’t match that. We probably have a bigger potential rate of improvement in us than most teams as well.

“It’s up to us to keep extending our recent record. We have won the last four at home and that sort of form is crucial if a team wants promotion. Promotions teams have to win at home and away, but the really successful teams will always have made their home ground a fortress.

“We have obvious advantages at home. We know the pitch and we have a home crowd that understands and appreciates how we are playing and how we are trying to play. When teams play deep with banks of players in front of their goal like Luton did last weekend, patience is required.

“Sometimes you just have to own the ball and suck teams out. We have done that. We have played with patience, but also with dynamism and intelligence. We have made forward thrusts at just the right time.”

Posh winger Jon Taylor is battling to be fit to play against his former club. Midfielder Jermaine Anderson is also racing to be fit. If those players don’t make it expect Marcus Marcus Maddison and Harry Beautyman to step in.

Westley added: “People tell me that early in the season Marcus was winning games on his own so it tells you good we have been that he has had to fight to get a starting place back. One of the reasons we have strung so many wins together lately is the form of Jon Taylor.

“He has been in outstanding form. He has been making a real difference to the outcome of games. Jon wants to play in every game and I guess he will want to play in this one.

“The professionalism and work-rate of Marcus in training recently makes me believe that he will do a great job if selected. I have had some big players on the sidelines in recent games.”