Peterborough United manager demands a rapid improvement after a nightmare start

Peterborough United suffered a collective nightmare as they crashed to a 3-1 home defeat to Fleetwood on the opening day of the League One season (August 3).

Saturday, 3rd August 2019, 7:24 pm
Harry Souttar heads Fleetwood in front at Posh in the fourth minute. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.

Disappointed manager Darren Ferguson refused to point the finger at individuals as Posh conceded two goals in the opening 14 minutes and then a third 10 minutes from time after Ivan Toney’s strike midway through the second-half had given the home side hope.

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Posh boss Darren Ferguson watches his side lose to Fleetwood. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.

Ferguson admitted his side’s defensive sloppiness meant they deserved to lose. He was frustrated that the high expectations of the club and the fans weren’t met.

“There was a lot of expectation today,” Ferguson admitted. “And that’s because we signed some very good players. We’re in it together and we’re all disappointed, but I’m particularly disappointed for the fans as they would have been expecting to see a much better performance.

Posh star George Boyd;s frustration is obvious during defeat at the hands of Fleetwood. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.

“We got caught cold though. Losing two poor goals so early in the game just gave us a mountain to climb. It meant Fleetwood didn’t have to do anything. They didn’t have to come out. They probably weren’t going to anyway and that’s a taste of what might happen at our place this season.

“But the reaction to the goals was poor. I was disappointed with the way we played between going 2-0 down up to half time. We lost our confidence and we weren’t brave enough to play the way we wanted to. There was too much sideways passing. The ball wasn’t moved forward quickly enough from central midfield areas.

“When a team sits deep you have to get your side players very wide and get round them, but we didn’t do that well enough. In the second-half we were better after we tweaked a couple of things and when we scored to get ourselves back in the game, I felt we might nick a draw which would have been a great result after falling 2-0 down.

“I fancied we could do it. We had all the ball, they weren’t threatening on the counter attack, but then some bad defending cost us another and that was that. If you concede goals like we did today you are not going to win many games. All three goals were awful.

“I’m glad the first game is out of the way though. We can settle down and get on with the season now. I am not going to hammer the players after one game, but obviously we have to improve and we will.

“We only showed one bit of quality with Marcus Maddison’s cross for our goal, but that will come.

“Fleetwood are a good side. I never expected we would wipe the floor with them.”

Maddison was the only substitute Ferguson employed. He and latest signing Josh Knight could start at Oxford next Saturday (August 10).

“As a manager you have to make decisions quickly,” Ferguson added. “I thought about changes, but we’ve worked with this formation and these players for so long this summer I had to let it play out

“We just didn’t do it well enough. We certainly have plenty of things to iron out.

“George Boyd will improve as he gets used to his new position and Mo Eisa shouldn’t be judged on one game. He’s a very good player.”