Peterborough United manager accuses his players of making it too easy for six-hitting Sheffield United
Posh went down 6-2 after reaching the interval at 1-1 - after Jack Marriott had scored his first goal for almost a year - to slip to next-to-bottom in the Championship table. They will go bottom if Nottingham Forest beat Cardiff City tomorrow (Sunday).
Posh were without experienced defender Nathan Thompson while midfield pair Jack Taylor (tonsillitis) and Jorge Grant (self-isolating) had barely trained in the week before joining up with the squad today.
But Ferguson accepted no excuses for such a weak second-half display. It was the first time Posh had conceded six goals in a Football League game since a 6-0 Championship defeat at Reading in April, 2010.
“The manner of the defeat was extremely disappointing,” Ferguson said. “We were well in the game at half-time and we had our best spell of the match at the start of the second-half.
“We should have taken the lead and within two minutes we had fallen behind when a player who has been with me for a while (Frankie Kent) played a pass he should never have played.
“At 2-1 down we had to regroup and go again, but instead we went the other way. We conceded again and for a 10-minute spell we were all over the place. Instead of making it as hard as possible we made it easy for them and that was so disappointing. The gameplan went out of the window in their minds when we went 3-1 down.
“If we had gone in front they would have been edgy as they had a big crowd here who expect them to win, but instead confidence flowed through their team and the fans got right behind them.
“In the end I was glad to hear the final whistle as it looked like they might get more goals.
“I will calm down before I speak to the players tomorrow. I have to be careful what I say now. If there was a positive to take from the game it was two of our strikers scoring.
“I played Jack Marriott instead of Jonson Clarke-Harris because I wanted more mobility and energy and at times we did give them problems.
“But there can be no excuses for a defeat of that size. I doubt it has happened to me or many of these players before.”
Ferguson now needs to pick his players up ahead of a big game at Reading on Tuesday (September 14, 8pm). The Royals are above Posh on goal difference.
There is a chance Thompson could return for that game.
“I can’t rip things up after one bad result or after six matches,” Ferguson added. “We’ve taken a battering here and we need to react quickly.”