Peterborough United manager praises ‘destructive’ Siriki Dembele and ‘savvy’ Nathan Thompson as Posh prepare for another big game against promotion rivals Oxford United

Peterborough United manager Darren Ferguson has praised the impact of forward Siriki Dembele and defender Nathan Thompson during the club’s outstanding run of current form.

Friday, 7th February 2020, 9:48 am
Siriki Dembele celebrates a goal for Posh at Ipswich last weekend. Photo: Joe Dent/

And Ferguson has used their contribution as motivation for those Posh players who haven’t featured in a run of four successive wins.

The manager have named the same starting line-up for all for four wins and is expected to field the same 11 in tomorrow’s big game against promotion rivals Oxford United at the Weston Homes Stadium (February 8, 3pm).

Dembele and Thompson both suffered frustrating starts to this season due to injury, suspension and form, but now both appear undroppable.

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Nathan Thompson with Darren Ferguson.

“It just shows what can happen,” Ferguson said. “Siriki has found it hard at times this season because he wasn’t getting enough game time. Before this current run he’d only started three League One matches and if you’d have predicted that at the start of the season I’d have said there was no chance of it happening.

“But Siriki suffered because we changed to a system that didn’t use wingers and the lads flew up the league. When Siriki did get in he then got injured and then he had a suspension.

“But the boy has been absolutely outstanding since realising he can play as a central striker. He destroyed Ipswich last weekend with a goal and two assists.

“Nathan is now benefitting from the longest run he’s had in the team. There’s never been any doubt in my mind what a top player we had signed, but he’s had injuries.

“He has great experience and we now have a lot of savvy at the back with him and Mark Beevers.

“It;s important to me that every player in the squad and not just the matchday 18 feel part of what we’re chasing which is why I was pleased with the attitude as well as the performance of the reserves as they won 8-0 this week.

“I have scope to change things if I want. The good thing for me is his how fit strong and fresh the entire squad looks.”

Only forward Idris Kanu is unavailable tomorrow as he continues his recovery from an eye injury. Ferguson is expecting another tough game against a promotion rival, but third-placed Posh will take confidence from wins over the other members of the top four, Rotherham, Wycombe and Ipswich in the last fortnight.

“Oxford play in a slightly different way to the other three,” Ferguson added. “They are a very good side with very good individual players, but that’s exactly what we’ve been facing in the last few weeks anyway.

“We can’t wait for games to come around at the moment. If we keep performing like we have in recent games we are a very hard team to play against especially as we’ve rediscovered our goal threat.”