Posh strikers have got to start lighting up matches

Luke James is on the floor after missing his great chance to score against Gilllingham.
Luke James is on the floor after missing his great chance to score against Gilllingham.
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Luke James cost Posh £500k and hasn’t scored a goal since September 2.

Conor Washington has scored just two goals in his last 15 appearances, while Kyle Vassell scored five times by September 6, but hasn’t scored since.

Even club legend Aaron Mclean has scored just once, at bottom club Leyton Orient, since returning to Posh on loan.

It would be unfair to blame all Posh’s scoring problems on the strikers, but unless one of them finds some form between now and the end of May (or unless Posh find a goalscorer on loan) the season will end before the play-offs begin.

That appears to be the view of Posh boss Darren Ferguson. After watching the 2-1 home defeat by Gillingham on Tuesday night - a game in which Posh missed chances galore -, Ferguson admitted the lack of a regular goalscorer was hurting his team.

Ferguson said: “We’re used to having prolific goalscorers at this club, certainly in my time here.

“But for whatever reason it’s not happening for us in front of goal this season.

“The stats show that we haven’t scored anywhere near enough goals and the team is suffering as a result.

“We have some good strikers at the club and we will continue working hard with them in training so they can develop.

“We have to hope one of them will then go on a scoring run.

“Luke James played well against Gillingham and deserved his man-of-the-match award.

“Everyone loves him because he’s a great lad who so obviously wants to succeed here, but we bought him to score goals and it hasn’t happened for him yet.

“When we watched Luke we saw a player who scored all types of goal. Hopefully he will come good.

“Goals are not only down to the strikers though. It would be wrong to blame them completely.”

Ferguson is keen to sign a new striker on loan now that the transfer window has re-opened.

The club were thinking about waiting until a 90-day loan agreement would cover the play-offs, but Ferguson now believes a new forward is required immediately.

Posh are currently four points, but seven places, outside the top six.

“We are in the market for a new striker and if the right one became available we would move now,” Ferguson added.

“I don’t think we can wait any more. We need a new one as soon as possible.”

Posh have scored 36 goals in 29 League One matches this season.

It’s far from the worst record in the division - it’s the same as sixth-placed Sheffield United - but Posh have the worst goal difference (-1) in League One’s top 13 and in a tight division that could prove to be costly.

Where will the Posh goals come from? These players need to deliver

Where will the next Posh goals come from? These players need to deliver

CONOR WASHINGTON

League One appearances: 26

League One goals: 7

He’s a real conundrum. Lots of energy and bustle and occasionally finshes well, but he has never threatened to score regularly. Often looks nervous in and around the penalty area and rarely seen heading the ball.

Will he come good? Unlikely.

LUKE JAMES

League One appearances: 20

League One goals: 0

Scored a tap-in on his Posh debut as a late substitute in a JPT tie, but hasn’t netted a single League One goal following a £500k move from Hartlepool. He is at his best when attacking down the right flank, but that’s not why he was signed.

Will he come good? Maybe.

MARCUS MADDISON

League One appearances: 20

League One goals: 7

An attacking midfielder is the club’s joint-top scorer in League One this season which sums up a serious problem rather neatly.

Maddison is possibly the one player who can be pleased with his goal-return so far.

Will he come good? Yes.

AARON MCLEAN

League One appearances: 12

League One goals: 1

Before Christmas his attitude and commitment did give the side a slight lift, but it was a surprise to see his loan extended until the end of the season as he’s far from the quality striker who rightly became a club hero.

Will he come good? Doubtful.

KYLE VASSELL

League One appearances: 12

League One goals: 5

Looked a high-class finisher early in the season when scoring decisive goals at Rochdale and Bradford City, but an injury stopped him in his tracks. Now injured again after a ropey spell back in the team.

Will he come good? Possibly.

ERHUN OZTUMER

League One appearances: 12

League One goals: 1

Scored with an outstanding free-kick on his full Posh debut at Leyton Orient, but from open play he has rarely looked like a goal threat. A bit below Maddison’s level at the moment so might struggle to start games.

Will he come good? Unlikely.

HARRY BEAUTYMAN

League One appearances: 11

League One goals: 1

This midfielder scored 11 goals for Welling before joining Posh, but has yet to be unleashed as a box-to-box midfielder. Plays with discipline and with good energy, but he’s rarely seen in the opposition penalty area.

Wille he come good? Possibly.

JON TAYLOR

League One appearances: 13

League One goals: 2

He’s the player with the potential to improve in the last three months of the season. One of his two goals was a fluke, but he’s been restricted by injury since he arrived at the club. Quick and determined. If fit he could go well.

Will he come good? Definitely.