Peterborough United will need a complete team performance to topple in-form Portsmouth

Peterborough United manager Darren Ferguson believes his team will need to deliver the complete team performance to gain a positive result from tomorrow’s (December 7) tough-looking League One fixture at in-form Portsmouth.

Friday, 6th December 2019, 1:03 pm
Updated Friday, 6th December 2019, 1:18 pm
Dan Butler (right) should start for Posh at Portsmouth.

After a sluggish start to the campaign, Pompey have won their last six competitive matches and are are unbeaten in nine games in total. Portsmouth are also unbeaten at Fratton Park in League One games, whereas Posh have lost their last two away matches in the division.

It’s looking like a patched-up Posh midfield again tomorrow with Josh Knight ruled out, George Boyd very doubtful and Joe Ward struggling after picking up a knock in the midweek Leasing.com Trophy defeat at the hands of Ipswich Town. Left-back Frazer Blake-Tracy will miss the game because of an ankle injury so Dan Butler will definitely start against the club that gave him his professional debut in 2012.

Ferguson is looking forward to the game though and a repeat of last season’s thrilling 3-2 win at Fratton Park would do him nicely.

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Nathan Thompson returns to Portsmouth with Posh on Saturday.

“It would indeed and what a fantastic match that was,” Ferguson said. “Although the circumstances of that fixture were such that both teams had to win to keep alive their end-of-season ambitions.

“It won’t be decisive tomorrow even if we win and get a big gap between us and a team who I fully expect to be among the promotion contenders at the end of the season.

“Certainly to get anything we need every player contributing. We won’t be able to carry anyone. It’s very rare that a team plays poorly and takes anything away from a game at Portsmouth.

“They have been very good lately which is no surprise to me as they have good players and a very experienced manager for this level of football.

Posh star Joe Ward is a doubt for the game at Portsmouth.

“It’s a great place to go and play football though. Their fans are passionate so the atmosphere will be good and that’s something we will prepare for.

“If we can start well and quieten the crowd that will help us. Managing the first 15 minutes will be vital as we don’t want their fans to come alive.

“We need to be better away from home, but I don’t believe that’s anything to do with the formation we’ve been playing. I know I haven’t got midfielders and full-backs who will help us get 70% possession in any game, but I also know we can score goals and we are capable of giving anyone a tough game on their own pitch.

“The way we pass the ball is not keeping me up at night though as it’s all about winning matches and we’ve been good at that.”

Nathan Thompson is expected to start at right-back against the team he left in the summer.

Posh start tomorrow’s match in third place, seven places and four points ahead of Pompey.