Peterborough United can’t wait to tackle ‘Mission Impossible,’ while teenage striker could be held back for an under 23 game

Peterborough United are raring to go as they seek to pull off ‘Mission Impossible’ at Championship leaders Bournemouth on Monday (January 3, 7.45pm).

By Alan Swann
Friday, 31st December 2021, 11:42 am
Jorge Grant of Peterborough United in action with Philip Billing of Bournemouth in a 0-0 draw at London Road in September.
Jorge Grant of Peterborough United in action with Philip Billing of Bournemouth in a 0-0 draw at London Road in September.

The Cherries moved four points clear at the top of the table with a 3-0 home win over struggling Cardiff City last night (December 30), while Posh have lost 11 of their 12 away games while conceding almost three goals a game.

But Posh have been freshened up by a 16-day break from action - they last played at Blackpool on December 18 - and with no pressure or expectations on his side, manager Darren Ferguson is hopeful of a display to match the one when the sides met at London Road in September.

Posh defended superbly to draw that game 0-0.

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Posh defender Nathan Thompson takes on Morgan Rogers of Bournemouth in September.

“We put on a very disciplined defensive display against Bournemouth at home,” Ferguson said. “We defended more than I would have liked as we kept giving the ball away, but we were determined and organised against a team full of quality.

“There is no pressure on us on Monday. The only pressure will come from within as no-one expects us to get anything. We can play with freedom and express ourselves.

“We know the size of the task against a side who could make many changes to their team without lowering the quality, but sometimes you get a shock result that can kick-start your season and the quality and the intensity in training since we last played has been very impressive.

“It’s been a frustrating period for us. We didn’t play at all last Christmas and it’s happened again, and losing the Boxing Day fixture is very disappointing, They are game everyone looks forward to.

“But that’s the world we live in now. Hopefully teams will start playing again now. We have stopped testing on the day of the game which should stop late postponements.

“It’s been a challenging time as a manager. We’ve changed the festive training schedule three times because our games were called off, but I have to say our players have behaved well in terms of staying clear of Covid. We cancelled our Christmas party which seems to have been the downfall of some teams.”

Joe Ward is currently the only player currently isolating, but he will travel to Bournemouth as long as he provides a negative test beforehand.

Teenage striker Ricky-Jade Jones has returned to full fitness, but he night be held back so he can play in an under 23 game at home to Burnley on Tuesday.

Bottom club Derby won 2-1 at Stoke City last night to move within nine points of Posh. Posh remain three points behind Cardiff City following their defeat at Bournemouth.

Hull City, who are four points ahead of Posh, are at injury-ravaged Blackpool tomorrow (January 1, 3pm).

Cardiff are due at West Brom on Sunday (January 2), while there’s a big game on Monday afternoon (3pm) when fourth-bottom Reading host Derby. Reading haven’t played since December 11.

Next-to-bottom Barnsley are at Nottingham Forest on Monday.