January movements expected, loanee’s future still to be decided and a change of position for Posh’s longest serving player?

Peterborough United boss Darren Ferguson has already made up his mind on where his side need to strengthen in January and has a host of decisions to make about the future of his squad.

By Ben Jones
Wednesday, 15th December 2021, 5:34 pm
Conor Coventry. Photo: Joe Dent.
Conor Coventry. Photo: Joe Dent.

Ferguson has confirmed that he is expecting movement in both directions when the window opens next month, although it is expected to be mostly loan signings.

He said: “I know exactly where we need to strengthen and we’re already having meetings about that and then it’s just a case of whether we can get the deals done or whether the players we are after are going to be available.

“There’s a lot of things you need to cover before you can start thinking about getting players in January. It’s never an ideal month to do it but I think we can clearly see where we need to strengthen. I think it will be predominantly loan signings, it’s always very difficult to do a deal on a permanent in January but there will be some coming and some going.”

With the possibility of bringing in a number of loans, the future of Conor Coventry is something Posh will need to make a decision on.

The Irish U21 international captain has found his opportunities limited since joining on loan from West Ham in September. He has started just four of the 17 league games since his arrival and has appeared in a further eight off the bench.

It is the first time he has played in the Championship and his manager has praised his attitude and the way he has applied himself in training.

Coventry’s departure would leave Posh short in the central midfield area though and would likely have to lead to a further arrival in that area.

Ferguson said: “It’s a conversation for Conor and I and we’ll get to an outcome on that one. Obviously when you go out on loan, you want to play as many games as possible but sometimes there’s different ways of a loan and how it works.

“It’s the first time he’s been on loan at a Championship team. It’s been a real good experience for him to be part of that, so it doesn’t necessarily have to be deemed a successful loan or an unsuccessful loan depending on how many minutes he plays.

“Of course, he wants to play more but he’s really enjoying it and trains very, very well. His training sessions are very good and he gives me different options. So, I think once we get closer to January, we’ll be having a conversation about that.”

Another player that faces an uncertain future is Joe Ward; the club’s longest serving player after joining January 2018 from Woking. The wide man had appeared in every game before he picked up a knock before the Barnsley match last month (November 27) and missed the Forest trip (December 4) with illness.

He did not return to the squad for the visit Millwall, despite his return to training on the Monday (December 7).

He is one of the few players in the squad who is likely to be harmed by the switch to the diamond. Ferguson has hinted though that he could remain in his plans as a right back as the club’s only cover for Nathan Thompson. He appeared in the position in the closely-fought 1-0 defeat to Fulham last month (November 6).

He added: “Joe is available, he trained last Monday. He did play in the diamond when I first came back but it wouldn’t be a formation that did suit him unless he played right back, which he can do. So, that might be his position in this shape.

“At the moment, we’ve just got Thommo there but certainly Joe could be a right back, especially if you’re chasing a game where you need that width or crossing ability. It was explained to Joe, the reason why he wasn’t in the squad.”

Posh have been linked with a move for Dundee United Cameroonian international midfielder Jeando Fuchs, while Idris Kanu is expected to leave the club in January.

Colchester, MK Dons and Salford are thought to be among the clubs interested in his signature.