Peterborough United expected to play on the front foot at Birmingham City as Darren Ferguson asks for an end to all the moaning, and a bid to get another new signing in the squad has failed
Peterborough United are set to get back on the front foot in tonight’s big Championship battle at Birmingham City (January 25, 7.45pm).
Posh boss Darren Ferguson drew criticism for the way he set up his team to frustrate rather than attack promotion-chasing West Bromwich Albion on Saturday. The Baggies scored three goals in the final 11 minutes to seal a 3-0 win which left Posh stuck in the relegation zone, three points from safety.
But a win tonight would see Posh catch Reading on points and Ferguson’s men would still have a game in hand. They’d also just be a point behind Cardiff, also with a game in hand, while the Posh boss also believes his side can catch Birmingham in time.
“For all our problems and disappointments the biggest thing for me is we are still very much in the fight,” Ferguson stated. “It has been difficult for all of us, the players, the management and the rest of the staff, but we are in touch and we are fighting. I saw a very determined team who stuck to a gameplan for 80 minutes on Saturday. That’s a positive I am taking from the game.
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“We set out to frustrate West Brom and we did. I saw the stat about the number of shots they supposedly had, but they weren’t opening us up.
“Unfortunately if you play like that you have to get something from the game or it looks bad and that’s what happened.
“It’s not how we usually play and it wasn’t the intention just to defend for 90 minutes. but every time we got the ball we gave it straight back to them so we couldn’t get anything going ourselves. I made positive substitutions to get fresh attacking legs on, but it didn’t work.
“We’ve moved on from another disappointing away defeat now and whatever formation we use and tactics we employ at Birmingham we just have to be better on the ball. We must show more quality and we have players who have much more quality than they are currently showing. It must turn eventually and I’m still confident it will.
“We have a chance now to make ground on teams who aren’t playing on Tuesday and we could still eventually catch Birmingham, but only if we beat them.
“We have to be mentally strong and brave. We all want the same thing and that’s to stay in the Championship so there is no point in moaning at each other or calling for the manager to go or asking to get rid of players. The club spent eight years trying to get back to the Championship - I wasn’t here for most of that time - and most of these players brought success to the club. That needs remembering, but obviously results need to change quickly.”
Posh will add new on-loan striker Callum Morton and defender Nathan Thompson to the matchday squad tonight, but will make a late decision on defender Ronnie Edwards who left the West Brom game early after suffering a blow to the head.
“Callum has been with us for a while now so he knows the players and the way we want to play,” Ferguson added. “He will be involved tonight.”
Posh director of football Barry Fry revealed yesterday the club had hoped to have another new signing available at Birmingham City, but the proposed deal didn’t happen.