Posh boss Darren Ferguson on giving fans hope, angry players and the stats influencing his gameplan for Nottingham Forest, plus an unwanted 19-year-old record could be equalled at the City Ground

Peterborough United manager Darren Ferguson and his players intend to deliver hope and optimism to the club’s loyal supporters for Christmas.

By Alan Swann
Friday, 3rd December 2021, 10:45 am
Sammie Szmodics will be hoping for a Posh recall at Nottingham Forest.

Posh folk have been impressed and humbled by the level of support from fans given a sorry start to the Championship season.

Posh travel to Nottingham Forest tomorrow (December 4, 3pm) four points adrift of safety, but will have the support of 2,000 travelling fans. Posh sold out their entire allocation for the game at the City Ground in 48 hours.

Motivation for Ferguson and his players is easy tomorrow.

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Posh boss Darren Ferguson watching last weekend's game with Barnsley.

“Our support has been superb all season,” Ferguson said. “Even in away games when we’ve obviously struggled. “We will have a fantastic atmosphere at a superb football stadium tomorrow and it’s important we give them something to cheer tomorrow and important we give them some hope. We gave them hope at Stoke recently, but not at Blackburn.

“Starting well tomorow will be key for many reasons. It would give our fans and the players encouragement for a start. We’ve only been in front in one away game and we won that one (Hull) so how aggressive and how controlled we are from kick off will be vital.

“If we can get a result it could change things for us. Things can change that quickly. I am convinced we are not a million miles away, but we can’t let the gap between us and those above us grow any bigger. I don’t think it will, but for now it’s just a case of hanging in there.

“We have to believe we belong in the Championship. The alternative is to give up and there’s no way we are doing that.”

Ferguson could bring senior players back into the starting line-up tomorrow after he fielded three teenagers (Ronnie Edwards, Harrison Burrows and debutant Kai Corbett) in last weekend’s drab 0-0 home draw with Barnsley.

Ferguson studied all 20 Championship games Posh have played this season in fine detail before finalising his match strategy for tomorrow.

Fringe players Joel Randall (Covid), Kwame Poku (injured) and Ricky-Jade Jones (injured) will not be involved.

Ferguson added: “I went through all the games we’ve played last weekend and studied stats, formations etc and I took plenty out from that exercise which will impact on how we line up at Forest.

“I had chats with the players I left out last weekend on Monday. Most accepted my decision and a couple were angry, but I don’t mind that. I want them to be angry when they are not playing. Sometimes I get things wrong, but I always explain my thinking.

“It’s important we are all on the same path though and with this group I know we are. We all respect each other.”

If Posh don’t score it will be the first time since the opening stages of the 2002-03 season that the team has gone five Football League games in a row without a goal. Posh went seven competitive matches without a goal back then.

Posh have already gone four League games without a goal for the first time since 2015.