Peterborough United players have their commitment and match preparation questioned and some are told they will be leaving the ABAX

Peterborough United manager Steve Evans delivered a withering assessment of his team's performance in a 2-0 home defeat at the hands of League One strugglers Scunthorpe today (January 1)

Tuesday, 1st January 2019, 5:24 pm
Updated Thursday, 10th January 2019, 11:23 am
Posh striker Ivan Toney is on the deck against Scunthorpe. Photo: David Lowndes.

Posh failed to register a single shot on target as they dropped out of the top six for the first time this season. Doncaster and Charlton both overtook Posh after winning their own home matches today.

But good home form remains elusive for Posh who followed an excellent display at Accrington on Saturday with a dismal performance at the ABAX Stadium.

After the game Evans questioned the players’ commitment and their preparation for a match that drew another healthy London Road crowd. He hinted that some players in action today won’t be seen in a Posh shirt again this season,

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Posh winger Siriki Dembele delivers a cross in the defeat by Scunthorpe. Photo: David Lowndes.

Horrible errors from Joe Ward and Louis Reed gifted both Scunthorpe goals to Lee Novak.

“That was poor,” Evans admitted. “Individual errors from a variety of players are killing us at home and it happened again. I have no idea what Joe Ward was doing for the first goal nor what Louis Reed was doing for the second goal, but they were horrendous errors.

“We sort of recovered from the first one and enjoyed a bit of pressure, but the second goal stopped any momentum we had. The players lack confidence at home and starting each half like we did was decisive. We were miles off it today.

“The commitment levels dropped from Saturday and the way we started the game made me wonder what some of the players were up to on New Year’s Eve. I have nothing to back that up, but it was just a thought because if you don’t prepare properly you wil get found out in the opening 15-20 minutes and we did,

Posh boss Steve Evans (right) and Paul Raynor before the defeat by Scunthorpe. Photo: David Lowndes.

“They almost scored twice before they did score. It was an uncharacteristic error, but a huge one, from Joe Ward, but we were still in the game at half time and we could have been level as Ivan Toney has missed a good chance to equalise.

“But the error from Louis for the second goal deflated us. It was a playground error. We were about to make two positive substitutions to try and effect the game, but we never gave ourselves the chance.

“The goals looked bad at first viewing, but after seeing them back they looked even worse. When you’re not playing well you have stay in the game, but we couldn’t even manage that. We lost the midfield battle today and that always makes things difficult.

“We’re now out of the top six for the first time this season and we have no-one else to blame but ourselves.

“It’s been obvious for a few weeks now that we are short of being a top six side. Some players came here expecting to be part of a promotion push, but they have been found out. Some of those who played today won’t be here for long.

“We have identified the three or four replacements that will make us much better and hopefully they will join us before we play another league game. We are sure to be involved in the race for the top six and with the right additions we can be successful.

“I’m glad we have a gap before the next League One match and I’m glad about that. I’d have been glad even if we’d managed to win and stayed in the top six because to me our shortcomings are obvious.”

Posh remain hopeful of re-signing Lee Tomlin on loan from Premier League side Cardiff City. Tomlin has been training at the ABAX for a month and Posh are waiting for confirmation from Cardiff that the deal can go through.

Posh centre-back Ryan Tafazolli suffered a dead leg today and should be fit for the third round FA Cup tie at Middlesbrough on Saturday (January 5).