Peterborough United will need to get close to perfection to win at Barnsley

Peterborough United manager Darren Ferguson believes his side will have to deliver a near-perfect performance to win their do-or-die clash at Barnsley on Sunday (noon kick off).
Posh boss Darren Ferguson addresses his players. Photo: Joe Dent/ boss Darren Ferguson addresses his players. Photo: Joe Dent/
Posh boss Darren Ferguson addresses his players. Photo: Joe Dent/

Only victory at Oakwell will give Posh hope of taking part in the League One play-offs, and even then they need a favour from Sheffield Wednesday who host Derby County at Hillsborough. Posh are currently two points behind Derby who also have a 3-goal superior goal difference.

Posh will definitely be without first choice left-back Nathanael Ogbeta and most probably without first-choice right-back Nathan Thompson, but Ferguson insists he’s relaxed about the task ahead.

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The team are travelling to South Yorkshire tomorrow (Saturday).

“I’m relaxed and looking forward to an exciting last game of the season,” Ferguson, who returned to London Road for a fourth spell as manager in January, stated. “When I came back the aim was to get to the play-offs.

"It was never going to be an easy task as I didn’t have a lot of time to get my plans over, but the players and the staff have been brilliant, while the chairman has also been very good as he’s just let me get on with things as he always has.

"And reaching the final day in contention has been a good effort, but we don’t want Sunday to be the last game of the season.

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"It would be a big bonus if we got into the play-offs and went on to win them, but on Sunday all we can do is play as well as we can and hope that the level of performance we deliver is good enough to beat a very good side.

"We have shown that when we get to a certain level we can win games against good sides emphatically, but if we don’t turn up at our best we won’t beat a team like Barnsley.

"They have had a very good season and until they played Ipswich recently they had aspirations of the top two. They can’t now go anywhere else, but they will want to take momentum into the play-offs.

"I’ve been in the position where my team has qualified for the play-offs with games to spare and it can be difficult, but every defeat hurts and Barnsley will be keen to avoid that.

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"They are a very good side. They have good energy in midfield and four top strikers to choose from. You don’t finish fourth with the number of points they have without being a very good side.

"But of course we can win there. Scoring first will be key, but we will have to be clinical and ruthless when chances arrive, or even half-chances.

"There will be butterflies and nerves beforehand and that’s normal. There would be something wrong with you if you didn’t feel nerves.

"It’s a challenge the players should embrace. I assume the younger ones want to go on and have great careers and having the temperament to perform well in these games is vital.

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“The crowd will have a part to play, but the players can't let outside noise distract them. It’s full focus from the start on winning the game

“I don’t want someone whispering in my ear about what’s going on elsewhere, but obviously I need to be aware. Lots of different scenarios could unfold. We could be 2-0 up and Derby could be drawing so we would need another goal.”