Jack Taylor hails Peterborough United's calmness as they shut out noise to seal play-off place on dramatic final day

Peterborough United's players were the “calmest they've been in ages” at half-time of Sunday’s victory as Barnsley as they looked to seal a play-off place.
Jack Taylor celebrates the victory at full-time. Photo: Joe Dent.Jack Taylor celebrates the victory at full-time. Photo: Joe Dent.
Jack Taylor celebrates the victory at full-time. Photo: Joe Dent.

Posh headed into the break at Oakwell on Sunday afternoon 1-0 up thanks to Jonson Clarke-Harris' strike after just six minutes but in need to recompose themselves amidst a spell of Barnsley pressure.

Moments before, loud cheers had been heard in the stands as first Posh fans celebrated Derby centre-back Curtis Davies receiving a red card and then Michael Smith scoring the subsequent penalty for Sheffield Wednesday to put them 1-0 up.

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The result remained that way and meant that Posh’s 2-0 victory was good enough for a play-off place.

Jack Taylor looks for a pass against Barnsley. Photo: Joe Dent.Jack Taylor looks for a pass against Barnsley. Photo: Joe Dent.
Jack Taylor looks for a pass against Barnsley. Photo: Joe Dent.

Speaking of the crowd, Posh midfielder- who put in a star performance- said: “I thought it was 2-0, the crowd must have celebrated the red card as well as the goal.

"The fans were telling us the score as we were going down the tunnel, which helped but as a professional, you need to settle down. Half time came at a good time for us but we were really calm in the dressing room, it was the calmest I’ve seen us in ages and we took that into the second half.

"When it got to the end, we were trying to go off the crowd. I was asking Norbs what was going and he kept saying, just keep going.

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“I thought if Derby had scored, surely Barnsley fans would have been taking the mick. It wasn’t like that but our fans started to get a bit quitter- I don’t know if they were nervous or just waiting- but when the final whistle went we didn’t know whether to celebrate. The gaffer told us there was one minute left and then our fans started celebrating and we knew it was done.

"I’ve never played in the play-offs before so it will be a new experience for me but I am really looking forward to it.”

Taylor scored the crucial goal in the second half to put Posh 2-0 up, doing so from a Harrison Burrows corner. He also scored from a set-piece in Posh’s 2-0 victory at Oakwell last April in the Championship.

Posh's win ensured that they leapfrogged Derby on the final day and set up a play-off semi-final against Sheffield Wednesday. The first leg is at the Weston Homes Stadium on Friday (May 12).

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He added: “We knew there was a lot on the line today but we had a job to do. Derby were under more pressure than us, we were relying on them.

“We performed how we expect to, it’s not been there the last couple of weeks but today we did and should have scored more. It was a complete performance and I’m delighted we’ve ended up in the play-offs.

“The gaffer said if we get an early goal, you never know how Derby and they’re crowd are going to react. It was important to get that, it set the tone.

“I want to be in the box, especially for set-pieces. I haven’t been in the box a lot his year, I’ve mostly been on the edge so I’m delighted to go and attack the ball. It’s two in two in that goal for me.”

“We know that Wednesday are a tough opponent, the away leg will be especially tough so we’ll have to be at in on Friday and make sure we take a good result to Hillsborough.”