Teenager leading the race to replace Toney, Fergie unhappy with the performance of his team despite FA Cup progress, injury updates on Boyd and Knight
Peterborough United teenager Ricky-Jade Jones looks to have won the race to replace star striker Ivan Toney in Saturday’s League One match against Burton Albion (November 23).
Jones (17) came off the substitutes’ bench to claim his second goal in two games and clinch a 2-0 win for Posh in a first round FA Cup replay against Stevenage at the Weston Homes Stadium tonight (November 19).
Mo Eisa had scored earlier in the game as Posh booked a second round date at home to National League Dover Athletic on the weekend of November 30/December 1.
But it was Jones’ display that cheered Posh manager Darren Ferguson after his team made hard work of beating the side bottom of League Two, 43 places lower than Posh in the Football League ladder.
Perhaps significantly Jones’ rivals to replace the suspended Toney on Saturday, Siriki Dembele and Idris Kanu, weren’t given any game time tonight. Kanu wasn’t even in the squad.
“I don’t see Ricky as a 17 year-old boy, I see him as a member of the first-team squad,” Ferguson stated. “He has given himself a real chance of starting on Saturday.
“He has explosive pace, but he offers much more than just that. He presses well, he works hard for the team and, even though he missed a couple of chances, he didn’t hide and he was rewarded with a goal. He just looks like he has a goal in him.
“It was a perfect finish, low and hard, and it’s now two goals in two games which is all you can ask from a striker.
“Ricky’s goal was a highlight. The other positives were we got through, we won at home again and we kept a clean sheet, but the performance level was far short of what I expect.
“We had the perfect start with a goal after just 10 minutes and then I just felt we would kick on and take the game away from them.
“But we did the opposite of what I wanted. We passed the ball too slowly, there was no tempo to our game and it was like we just expected things to happen for us. That’s not how football works. No matter who the opposition is, you have to make things happen yourslef.
“We did create plaenty of chances when the game opened up towards the end, but we were lucky to have the opportunity to make it 2-0 because Christy Pym has made an excellent save to keep us ahead just before then.
“Our standards have dipped a bit recently. When we play like we can with a proper tempo we look a very good side, but we’re not back there yet.
“We were very sloppy. We will need to be much better on Saturday. There is a lot we can improve.”
On-loan Josh Knight missed the match because of a slight muscle issue, but he should be available for the Burton game.
Louis Reed was rested rather dropped this evening as Ferguson wanted to see Niall Mason in a midfield role.
George Boyd saw a specialist about his knee injury today and the diagnosis was better than expected. It’s a nerve problem, although he’s unlikely to play against Burton.