Peterborough United chairman can’t wait to see consistency of selection, but that’s not a criticism of his manager

Peterborough United chairman Darragh MacAnthony believes his team will improve once they find some consistency with selection.

Friday, 17th September 2021, 5:00 pm
Last season's top Posh centre-back pairing of Mark Beevers (left) and Frankie Kent.

That’s not a criticism of manager Darren Ferguson, but more a reflection on the many injuries and match fitness issues that have affected the first team squad this season.

Posh have already used 19 different players in just seven Championship matches this season leading to multiple combinations and partnerships in all areas of the team.

“Last season I could name nine or 10 players every game who would be certain to play,” MacAnthony stated on his ‘Hard Truth’ podcast. “Virtually everyone was always available and we knew our strongest team and our best partnerships.

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Posh chairman Darragh MacAnthony with Jonson Clarke-Harris.

“That hasn’t happened this season so far because of the hand we’ve been dealt with injuries and Covid and everything else.

“In the first six Championship matches we had five different pairings at the back, four-and-a-half different pairings in the centre of midfield and five different forward pairings.

“That’s the spine of the team always changing and that can’t help performances.

“And this isn’t a criticism of the manager because it’s something that’s happened which is out of his control.

“Part of the reason for our success in the past 20 months was having consistent partnerships down the spine of the team. We had Frankie Kent, Mark Beevers and Nathan Thompson at the back, and in midfield it was always Jack Taylor and Reece Brown with Jonson Clarke-Harris and Siriki Dembele up front.

“This season has been frustrating in comparison, but it will get better.”

Posh started with yet another centre-back pairing of teenager Ronnie Edwards and Frankie Kent at Reading on Tuesday (September 14) and they were blameless in a 3-1 defeat.

Ferguson also managed to start a game with star forwards Jonson Clarke-Harris, Siriki Dembele and Jack Marriott all on the pitch at the same time.

MacAnthony added: “I’m glad Ronnie finally got his chance at Reading. Other defenders have not played well this season and stayed in the team.

“Hopefully Ronnie will get a run of games now and everyone else will see what I see and that is we have an outstanding young player in our first-team squad.”

Posh skipper Mark Beevers has not played since injuring a hamstring in the 2-2 draw with Cardiff City at the Weston Homes Stadium on August 17. He’s not expected to return until the middle of October.

Last season Beevers missed only the last League One match of the season when he was rested.