Peterborough United manager slams decision-making in the final third as Posh fall to yet another away defeat at Middlesbrough

Peterborough United boss Darren Ferguson laid into his player’s decision-making in the final third as they were beaten 2-0 away at Middlesbrough this afternoon (October 16).

Saturday, 16th October 2021, 6:05 pm
Peterborough United Manager Darren Ferguson shouts instructions from the stands at Middlesbrough. Photo: Joe Dent/

Posh made a bright start to the game and had the ball in promising areas throughout the match, but did not register a single shot on target against a team missing several first-choice defenders.

The game changed in the second half when referee John Busby waved away what looked a strong penalty shout when ‘keeper Joe Lumley brough down Siriki Dembele in the box before awarding Middlesbrough a spot-kick in the 85th minute when Mark Beevers and Nathan Thompson both looked to have committed fouls from a wayward corner into the box.

Ferguson was keener to address his sides own failings though.

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Ferguson said: “The game was there for the taking. We were in control for large parts of it, but the quality wasn’t there in the last third. We had many opportunities to pick them off, but the final ball, weight of pass or the decision we made wasn’t good enough.

“Whether it was a penalty or not doesn’t matter if you keep wasting chances like we did you will lose the game, like we did.

“It’s just decision-making on the day of the match. We do all the work on the training ground, but it’s another game we were well in and we’ve lost. We can’t keep sitting here saying it, well we can, but if we do, we will be relegated. The quality there is just not good enough and then you open yourself up to the decision the referee made. Up to the final third we were good but that’s not where you win the game.

Ferguson felt the referee was wrong not to award Posh a penalty, but his focus now turns to picking the players up for what remains a winnable visit to Hull on Wednesday night (October 20).

Ferguson added: “We were controlling the game without looking threatening and we just had to improve the speed of play, but it was the final third that was missing. If we go ahead, it gives us the confidence to go forward and the game gets even more open. I don’t think we’ve really tested their goalkeeper.

“It’s a penalty, he’s got it wrong, very wrong; it’s a blatant penalty kick. It adds to the frustration, but the referee is not going to be taking training training on Monday or taking charge of the team on Wednesday. “He’s made a mistake, but we need to focus on we’re going wrong. We can’t let it affect us going forward and the only think we can do is affect what we’re doing and at the moment, it’s not good enough. I feel we’ve got the players, but they need to start showing it.”

Relegation rivals Hull and Barnsley both lost leaving Posh one point behind the former ahead of their meeting on Wednesday.