Peterborough United manager confident his side can slug it out with another Championship heavyweight and could the midfield diamond make a comeback?

Peterborough United manager Darren Ferguson has urged his players to ‘believe’ as they prepare to slug it out with a Championship big hitter in Sheffield United at Bramall Lane on Saturday (September 11).
Jack Taylor could start first Championship match of the season at Sheffield United.Jack Taylor could start first Championship match of the season at Sheffield United.
Jack Taylor could start first Championship match of the season at Sheffield United.

The Blades have started the season poorly following relegation from the Premier League. They’ve picked up two points from five matches and scored just one goal , but they strengthened their side considerably on transfer deadline day.

Former Everton goalkeeper Robin Olsen, Wolves midfielder Morgan Gibbs-White and Aston Villa midfielder Conor Hourihane all moved to the club.

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Ferguson accepts it’s another huge challenge for his team, but he points to the form shown against other promotion fancies West Brom and Cardiff as reasons for optimism.

“They 9Sheffield United) were always going to strengthen,” Ferguson added. “They tried to sign a couple more as well, but deals fell through. “They’ve added good experience in Hourihane and an athletic midfielder in Gibbs-White.

“They already had some top midfielders in John Fleck, Sander Berge and Oliver Norwood as well as a team stacked with players with plenty of Premier League experience so it’s a tough task for us again.

“But it’s the chance to play at a great stadium in front of passionate fans and we will have an excellent following ourselves.

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“Obviously we need to play better than in our two previous away games (defeats at Luton and Preston without scoring), but we are looking stronger.

“We’ve gone toe-to-toe with a couple of big clubs already this season so we know we can compete.”

New signing Coventry could make his Posh debut on Saturday. Coventry, a fit-again Jack Taylor and summer signings Oliver Norburn and Jorge Grant are battling for two midfield slots at Bramall Lane, unless Ferguson deploys a different formation.

The boss believes he now has the players to use a midfield diamond.

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Ferguson’s attacking plans are fluid with the threat of a suspension hanging over Jonson Clarke-Harris and concerns over Jack Marriott’s chances of lasting 90 minutes.

Siriki Dembele’s fitness has improved so he should start against the Blades.