No injury concerns for Peterborough United star as substitution confirmed as tactical

Peterborough United assistant manager Matthew Etherington has confirmed that there are no injury concerns about star forward Siriki Dembele and that his early substitution was a purely tactical change.

By Ben Jones
Saturday, 15th January 2022, 7:00 pm
Siriki Dembele in action against Coventry. Photo: Joe Dent.
Siriki Dembele in action against Coventry. Photo: Joe Dent.

There was concern during the warm-up as Dembele pulled up and limped down the tunnel. He was then seen talking to medics in the tunnel but when the match kicked off, he took his place in the starting line-up.

He was on the end of a number of heavy tackles and was down for a couple of minutes after getting a whack in the back early in the first half.

He continued and looked to have the beating of his marker Dominic Hyam whenever he took him on but he often looked to cut back and gave the ball away a number of times.

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Posh were trailing 2-1 when he was substituted after just 59 minutes and replaced by Jonson Clarke-Harris. From then on, Posh hardly carried a threat and substitutes Clarke-Harris and Ricky-Jade Jones struggled to have any influence on the game.

It was a rare occurrence to see Dembele taken off as the last time he did not complete the 90 minutes was away at Middlesbrough in October, 12 games ago. He had just given the ball away poorly, moments before the change was made.

At the end of the game, assistant manager Etherington, who stepped in to take media duties, insisted that Dembele was fine and that the change was purely tactical.

He said: “Dems in fine. He got a couple of knocks in the back but he’s ok. He’s getting a bit of treatment at the moment but the substitution was more tactical than anything.”