Peterborough United manager on finding small improvements, Grant McCann and his choice of formation ahead of a crunch game with Hull City

Peterborough United manager Darren Ferguson insists his side don’t have to show too much improvement to start winning again in the Championship.

Tuesday, 19th October 2021, 2:07 pm
Posh boss Darren Ferguson watching the game at Middlesbrough. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.

Posh head into a big game at the foot of the table at Grant McCann’s Hull City tomorrow (October 20, 7.45pm) having picked up just one point from their last four matches.

Posh are next-to-bottom, but a win tomorrow would lift them above Hull and potentially out of the relegation zone depending on Barnsley’s result at Middlesbrough.

Posh were beaten 2-0 at Boro on Saturday despite dominating possession. It was a sixth straight away defeat for Posh.

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Joe Ward in action for Posh at Middlesbrough. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.

“We spoke about the last game with the players yesterday,” Ferguson said. “We showed them the good stuff - and there was plenty of it - and we showed them the areas we obviously need to improve on.

“As I said after the game our decision-making in the final third wasn’t good enough. My job is to prepare the players as well as I can, but they have to take responsibility on the field.

“We were very good up to a certain point on the field on Saturday. We will keep encouraging them and I am confident things will turn. You could say we need a break, but you have to earn one.

“It goes without saying we need to start picking up points away from home now. We should have had more points than we have and it’s the same for Hull who, like us, have been well in games without winning too many of them.

“It should be a good game between two good footballing sides who were promoted together last season. The games last season were good and I’m expecting the same tomorrow.

“I’ve known Grant McCann a long time. He was a great player for us in a very successful time for the club and it’s only right his part in that is remembered.

“I always felt he would go into management and he’s done well. It’s not easy bringing a club back up after a a relegation, but he did it and it was a strong achievement. We get on fine. I have a lot of respect for him.

“Hull have good attacking options and they use different formations. They have strengths and dangers like everyone in this league.”

Ferguson is expected to stick with the three centre-back formation he deployed at Middlesbrough for tomorrow’s match. Centre-back Frankie Kent, midfielders Harrison Burrows and Conor Coventry, and wide player Joe Ward are back in contention for a start after missing out at the Riverside.

“We like the shape,” Ferguson added. “The players enjoy it and it provides flexibility as we can go from 3-5-2 to 4-3-3.

“I have to make tough decisions with selection, but I have a good group here who respect the fact I explain my decisions to them. They won’t agree with all of them, but hopefully there is respect.

“The bench will play a big part tomorrow because it’s the second game in a week.”