Peterborough United striker to return to the matchday squad, Posh get the Covid all clear, Fergie on his ‘farce’ fears, new owners on the way for relegation rivals

Peterborough United striker Ricky-Jade Jones will be back in the matchday squad for the January 3 Championship trip to league leaders Bournemouth (7.45pm).

By Alan Swann
Tuesday, 28th December 2021, 10:30 am
Ricky Jade-Jones is now fully fit.
Ricky Jade-Jones is now fully fit.

The 19 year-old hasn’t been involved since suffering knee ligament damage in the Carabao Cup defeat at home to Plymouth in August. He also suffered a hip injury during his recovery.

It’s a welcome boost for Posh who have badly lacked pace up top to match that of Siriki Dembele. Jones would most likely be used an impact substitute.

Posh are believed to have made a bid for a new forward, but any newcomer would not be available for the Bournemouth game.

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Bournemouth moved back to the top of the table following a hard fought 1-0 win at QPR last night (December 27). That was a first win in seven matches for the Cherries who also host lowly Cardiff City on Thursday (December 30, 7.45pm).

Posh have seen their Boxing Day fixture at home to Reading and their scheduled game at Birmingham City tomorrow (Wednesday) postponed because of Covid in the opposition camps.

Posh manager Darren Ferguson has reported the club currently have no-one absent because of Covid. Mark Beevers and Conor Coventry are back in training after completing their isolation period after recent positive tests. The whole squad were tested yesterday and no positive tests were recorded. Idris Kanu passed a Covid test before linking up with the 40-man provisional Sierra Leone squad for the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.

“Ricky is fit and should be available for the Bournemouth game,” Ferguson said. “Mark Beevers and Conor Coventry are also back in training and it’s a crddit to the club and the players we have no Covid cases currently. We are adhering to the protocols strictly, but I’m now wondering whether or not some players have already had Covid at a time when clubs weren’t testing.

“Given the opposition we had we wanted to play the two Christmas matches, but it is what it is. I don’t want the Championship becoming a farce, but it’s going that way.”

Posh are currently two points from safety in the Championship. Only two Championship matches were played on Boxing Day and none of the current relegation battlers were involved.

Next-to-bottom Barnsley are at in-form Blackburn on Wednesday, when Hull, who are four points above Posh are due at Sheffield United. That game is likely to be postponed after Hull called off their Boxing Day game just two hours before kick off because of Covid. The EFL are investigating that decision at the request of scheduled opponents Blackburn.

Bottom club Derby scored a shock 1-0 win over West Brom last night. They remain bottom, 12 points behind Posh. Derby are due at Stoke on Thursday.

Both Derby and Hull expect to have the boost of new owners in the new year.