Zak backs boss Ferguson to turn things around

Gaby Zakuani in 2012. Photo: Rowland Hobson/Peterborough Telegraph

Gaby Zakuani in 2012. Photo: Rowland Hobson/Peterborough Telegraph

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Peterborough United centre-back Gaby Zakuani has thrown his weight behind struggling manager Darren Ferguson.

Zakuani has more reason than most to to be criticial of Ferguson as he’s often been dropped or substituted this season.

But the DR Congo international has always been viewed as a team player and he is convinced the right manager is in place at London Road.

“I really don’t know how Darren copes with what is thrown at him,” Zakuani said.

“It’s unbelievable really that he stays so cool and calm and that he manages to keep the players so calm.

“Of course fans are entitled to their opinion, but some of them are making life hard with their booing.

“But I’ve known Darren for a long time and I believe he has grown as a manager.

“He’s a top, top boss and I believe he will help us turn our form around.

“We’ve all been frustrated with the way we’ve been playing and the results we’ve been getting, but throughout it all, Darren has insisted that we keep believing and that we keep expressing ourselves. He gets a lot of credit from me for that.

“Expectations have always been high since I’ve been at this club and it’s the same this season.

“Somehow we keep doing well even though our best players leave the club.

“We even lost Britt Assombalonga just before the start of the current season and many people thought that would be a serious problem for us.

“But initially we coped and delivered some good results. We are all confident we will turn our current form around and the experienced players like myself have to support the manager as well as the younger lads to help make it happen.”

Zakuani has played the last two first-team matches alongside Christian Burgess at the heart if the Posh defence.

He’s understandably keen to make it three in a row this Saturday as Posh are at Leyton Orient, the club where Zakuani started his career.

It’s been a stop, start campaign for the 27 year-old who will be away at the African Cup of Nations for most of January.

“It’s been a stop, start season for me because of injury and international call-ups,” Zakuani added.

“It’s tough for me to turn down my country. We have 77 million people in the DR Congo and I am one of 25 who have been selected to play football in a big tournament.

“That’s a source of great pride for me, but I know that I can’t expect to walk straight back into the Posh side whenever I return from international duty. I felt there was an understanding developing with Christian during the Colchester game so I hope we will get more chances to play together.”

DR Congo have been drawn in the same African Cup of Nations group as Cape Verde, Gambia and Tunisia.