Peterborough United can’t afford to drop any more points to League One’s lesser lights, but Szmodics expected to miss the trip to Swindon
Peterborough United manager Darren Ferguson is expecting a tough game at relegation-haunted Swindon Town tomorrow (April 10, 3pm), and his team’s form against League One’s lesser lights this season bears out that concern.
Posh have thrown points away against bottom eight teams Rochdale, Wimbledon, Burton, Shrewsbury and Bristol Rovers already this season and failing to win in Wiltshire would be a damaging blow in the race for automatic promotion.
Posh held their second place over Easter, but have dropped three points behind leaders Hull City, albeit with a game in hand. Third-placed Sunderland remain two points behind Posh, but have a game in hand on Ferguson’s side.
Posh will give a debut to on-loan goalkeeper Josef Bursik who moved to the Weston Homes Stadium on an emergency loan from Championship side Stoke City yesterday following regular number one Christy Pym’s season-ending side muscle injury.
But forward Sammie Szmodics is expected to miss the match with a shoulder injury picked up in the draw with Sunderland on Easter Monday.
Ferguson said: “Swindon have good wide players like Jack Payne, strong experience up front like Brett Pitman and an experienced manager in John Sheridan so I am expecting a tough game against a side fighting for their life.
“But there can be no more excuses from us now. We are seven good results from returning to the Championship. Whether we are playing against a top team or a team at the bottom makes no difference to me.
“It is all about us. If we play to our best in seven games we will finish in the top two. You can analyse your remaining games and the games the other teams have to play, but to me that’s a waste of time. You just have to beat whatever is in front of you and tomorrow that is Swindon. We won’t be thinking about any other game.
“We need to be aggressive and on the front foot from the first whistle. We need to take our chances and make sure we play as well defensively as we did against Sunderland on Monday.
“The players are in good spirits and so am I. We are ready for the challenge.
“Sammie Szmodics is still in a lot of pain and is thereffore a big doubt tomorrow, but if he misses this game he should be fit for the one after. There’s no point in taking risks with anyone now.”
Siriki Dembele can be expected to replace Szmodics tomorrow. After the Swindon match Posh are not in action again until Saturday April 17 when local rivals Northampton Town visit the Weston Homes Stadium.