Peterborough United manager Graham Westley remained upbeat despite a six-game winning streak coming to an end at the ABAX Stadium today (December 12).
Posh were held to a 1-1 League One draw by lowly Shrewsbury after conceding an equalising goal 10 minutes from time to their former striker Tyrone Barnett following an error by goalkeeper Ben Alnwick. Conor Washington had fired Posh ahead just before the hour mark with his ninth goal in his last nine games.
Despite the draw Posh moved up a place to fifth thanks to Blackpool’s surprise 1-0 win at Wigan. Posh are next in action at Blackpool next Saturday (December 19) when Westley believes his side will return to the form they showed throughout November.
“We weren’t as good today as we have been nor as good as we will be in the future,” Westley stated. “But if your winning run is going to come to an end it’s better that it ends with a draw rather than a defeat.
“We were under no illusions about the task today. Shrewsbury have enjoyed some good results lately against some top League One sides. Any team that beats Sheffield United 4-2 away from home is a good team.
“They are well-managed and well-organised. They are gritty and determined and we didn’t work them hard enough when we had the ball which is why we didn’t win. If we are at our best we win every game. but we fell short today.
“The conditions were difficult and dominant. It wasn’t easy to play out there, but after taking the lead there is a disappointment when the win isn’t achieved. We will have to learn the art of game intelligence because ours wasn’t very good today.
“We were having a lot of the ball at 1-0 up, but Shrewsbury were always likely to have a go towards the end and we didn’t react well enough when they did.
“Ben kocked the ball in front of him and not one of our defenders reacted. Ben is a great goalkeeper who has won us many points recently so I’m not blaming him for the draw.
“As a team we weren’t good enough today. We looked tired. We can’t do anything about today’s result now, but we can make sure we are re-energised for next week and we will be.
“We are from from despondent in the dressing room. It was a difficult day that’s all.”
Westley handed attacking midfielder Marcus Maddison his first start since October 3. He replaced Jon Taylor who hadn’t trained for much of the week because of a knock. Jermaine Anderson also missed out because of a calf injury.
“Jon had a jab before the game which meant we were never likely to get more than 30 minutes from him,” Westley added. “And when he did come he showed us what we had been missing. We missed his forward thrusts, his little bursts of energy. If he had been fit he would have started - there’s no way I’d leave him out of my side right now.
“We didn’t do our jobs well enough and we didn’t entertain our fans well enough, but we still scored a good goal.
“Erhun Oztumer has great vision and he has great execution. It was a great pass to Conor and when he gets one-on-one with the goalkeeper he is deadly at the moment.”
Westley expects on-loan West Ham midfielder Martin Samuelsen to be fit for the trip to Blackpool. He picked up a niggle playing for West Ham’s under 21 side last week.