Peterborough United manager explains decision to leave Sammie Szmodics out of the squad against Derby

Peterborough United manager Darren Ferguson has explained his decision to leave Sammie Szmodics out of the squad that faced Derby County on Saturday (February 19).

By Ben Jones
Sunday, 20th February 2022, 4:36 pm
Sammie Szmodics in action for Posh this season. Photo: Joe Dent.
Sammie Szmodics in action for Posh this season. Photo: Joe Dent.

Szmodics had been an unused substitute for the previous four league matches but for the crucial trip to Derby, in which Posh were beaten 1-0 courtesy of a stoppage time goal, he was dropped from the bench entirely. His place was taken by Ronnie Edwards, who had just returned from injury.

The last league match Szmodics played for the club was almost a month ago, away at Birmingham (January 25), where he replaced Kwame Poku for the final five minutes.

The forward has been pushed out by Posh’s switch to a 4-3-3, with Reece Brown, Jeando Fuchs and Ollie Norburn chosen to play in a midfield three in the last three matches and a mixture of Kwame Poku, Joe Ward, Jonson Clarke-Harris, Callum Morton and Jack Marriott chosen to play in the attacking positions.

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With Posh having only taken one point from their three games heading into the match at Pride Park, many fans were calling for the return of Szmodics but Ferguson clarified after the match that he does not think Szmodics is well suited to the club’s current preferred formation.

He said: “Leaving Sammie out was just a selection. The formation we started with, and have done the last three games, doesn’t really suit Sammie.

“He’s not really one you can play on his own upfront and he’s not really one that can play wide. It’s about the team, not individuals, and I’ve had to make some tough decisions with what I would class as senior players, who have not been in the squad at times.

“I’ve got a lot of players coming back to fitness, and with Ronnie Edwards coming back, I needed an extra defender on the bench as I already had four attackers.

“When I spoke to Sammie, I told him it was purely the fact that Callum and Ricky could both play wide and through the middle. It was nothing Sammie had done wrong.”