POSH PREVIEW: Westley: “I’m the right man to take Peterborough United forward’

Graham Westley insists he can take Peterborough United forward. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.
Graham Westley insists he can take Peterborough United forward. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.
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Manager Graham Westley insists he’s the right man to take Peterborough United forward.

Westley accepts some fans’ trust and confidence in his ability has been knocked during a run of six Posh defeats in the last seven League One matches.

Posh left-back Kgosi Ntlhe (right) is pushing for a recall at Bury.  Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.

Posh left-back Kgosi Ntlhe (right) is pushing for a recall at Bury. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.

But, in a bullish interview ahead of the League One game at Bury tonight (March 1, 7.30pm), Westley even refused to rule out a late surge towards the play-offs, even though his side are nine places and eight points off the top six.

“It might seem ludicrously ambitious to even talk about the play-offs right now,” Westley admitted. “But I have managed teams who have won nine of their last 11 games, 14 of their last 15 games and 16 out of their last 16 games to win promotion so I know it can be done.

“We are obviously going to have to produce an incredible run of results. We have 13 matches to go and we might need to win nine of 10 unbeaten games or win 10 games outright to get there, but to win a promotion you need to have an incredible run of results along the way and we might just produce ours during the run in.

“We do know we can win six in a row because we have already managed that. We also know that run arrived when we had most of our semior, most experienced players available which hopefully will be the case for the rest of this season.

“We have had a difficult period, but it’s not the difficult period that defines you, it’s the way you react to the difficult period that matters.

“I speak to the chairman every day and we try and work out how to improve things. I was lucky enough to enjoy a great start as manager of this club which injected some belief into the fans that I was the right man for the job.

“I’ve kicked a few of those fans recently with recent results. Obviously fans pay good money to watch an exciting brand of football and a winning team so confidence and trust in us has dissipated lately.

”But there is no question in my mind that I’m going to be good for the club. I will be the manager who takes this club where the chairman wants to go.

“We are going to have to match the incredible results I achieved at my previous clubs, but it’s possible now that the players who have proven they know how to win at League One level are back alongside the outstanding prospects we have at the club.

“We’ve been forced to play too many of those prospects in the same side recently. The experience will do them good in the long run, but we have to cut out the little mistakes that have cost us games and the experienced players will help us achieve that.

“I don’t do fibs. I just talk about what I believe is right. We earned a good, and well deserved, reputation for good football that delivered a good league position and we want that back as soon as possible.

“We intend to show a positive reaction tonight. With our best players on the pitch we are one hell of a side.”

Michael Bostwick is expected to return for Posh tonight after serving a two-match suspension. Centre-back Jack Baldwin,left-back Kgosi Nthle, striker Lee Angol, midfield playmaker Chris Forrester and attacking midfielder Jon Taylor are all pushing to be fit after missing the weekend (February 27) defeat at the hands of Swindon because of injury.

Goalkeeper Ben Alnwick is not expected to recover from an ankle injury so on-loan Stuart Moore will keep his place.