Peterborough United centre-back Gaby Zakuani was a stand-out performer in the goal-less draw against Ipswich at the ABAX Stadium on Saturday (July 25).
The 29-year-old club stalwart put in a colossal performance to lead his side to their second clean sheet of the pre-season campaign and Zakuani was pleased with the all-round defensive team display.
Zakuani said: “It was a tough physical test against Ipswich and we now know where we are as a team in pre-season after that.
“We want to keep clean sheets this season and that was a good performance. We were very resilient against a good Championship side.
“We were determined to keep a clean sheet against opposition that had good quality in the side. We wanted to defend well first and then look to cause them problems at the other end.”
It looked like that the Posh backline had been breached when Ipswich defender Jonathan Parr was left with a clear shot at goal just before halftime, only for star man Zakuani to make a superb last-ditch challenge to keep the scores level.
Zakuani added: “I saw the ball and went for it, I made a few good tackles in the game which I was happy with and I was pleased with our all-round performance, especially the clean sheet which feels like a goal to me.
“It was a good test for us because there will be times in League One when the opposition will put us under the same sort of pressure.”
If fitness allows, it appears that the powerhouse pairing of Michael Bostwick and Jack Collison will occupy central midfield for Dave Robertson’s men when the season gets underway and Zakuani believes it is key to have such quality in the middle of the park. Zakuani is also impressed with the quality of the most recent signings Andrew Fox, Kieran Sadlier, Lee Angol and Souleymane Coulibaly.
He said: “It helps to have such a powerful central midfield two in front of the backline, Bossie is powerful and runs around tackling while Jack Collison always wants the ball and has real quality.”
“The new signings have also done well in their first few days here and I think they give us options for different games to cause teams problems. I am pleased with how all of our games have gone in pre-season. We are unbeaten which is always a good habit to get into so it sets us up well for the start of the League One season.”