Peterborough United manager wants to see star man get better protection from referees and he calls for a more aggressive attacking approach from his own team

Peterborough United manager Darren Ferguson has called for more protection from referees for his attacking star Siriki Dembele.
Siriki Dembele in action for Posh against Birmingham City last month. Photo: Joe Dent/ Dembele in action for Posh against Birmingham City last month. Photo: Joe Dent/
Siriki Dembele in action for Posh against Birmingham City last month. Photo: Joe Dent/

In recent games it has become noticeable how often Dembele is fouled without the offending player receiving a yellow card. Some fans believe it’s a deliberate tactic to keep a lid on the most dangerous player in the Posh squad.

Ferguson didn’t go that far, but, ahead of tomorrow’s Championship fixture with Bristol City at the Weston Homes Stadium (October 2, 3pm), he was asked about a perceived lack of protection for his star man.

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“Siriki does get fouled a lot,” Ferguson stated. “But then he dribbles a lot and he’s very hard to stop when he gets his speed up. He commits defenders who often foul him and that’s been the case in all my time working with him.

“Luckily Siriki is a strong boy physically and mentally. He is always ready to take the ball knowing he could well get kicked. We just have to make sure he gets it high up the pitch where he can do the most damage.

“Sometimes I do feel the sheer number of times he is fouled, even when it’s not by the same player, warrants a yellow card.”

Dembele is expected to start the game against City when Ferguson hopes to see a more aggressive attacking display from Posh who grabbed a welcome home point against leaders Bournemouth on Wednesday courtesy of a disciplined defensive effort.

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Posh have no injury concerns apart from long-term casualties Mark Beevers, Joel Randall, Jack Marriott and Ricky-Jade Jones.

“It will be a different game against Bristol than the one we just played against Bournemouth,” Ferguson added. “I want to see the same defensive solidity, but with more attacking threat. We need to be more aggressive.

“Bristol are an established Championship club and like all teams at this level they have threats, but we have seen this season we are capable of causing any team problems at home providing our own levels are high.

“We need to win tomorrow and then we can spend two weeks sorting out our away form, which at least can’t get any worse!”

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The match referee tomorrow is Premier League official David Coote.

Posh have picked up all their eight Championship points at home this season. There is a break for international football after tomorrow’s game with Posh not in action again until they travel to Middlesbrough on October 16.