Posh boss is losing patience with Siriki Dembele, but was thrilled with Ronnie Edwards and he believes a point at MK Dons could turn out to be a good one

Peterborough United manager Darren Ferguson is losing patience with his under-performing stars.

By Alan Swann
Wednesday, 16th December 2020, 12:42 am
Updated Wednesday, 16th December 2020, 12:54 am
Siriki Dembele of Peterborough United in action with Matthew Sorinola of Milton Keynes Dons. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.

Ferguson was speaking after a 1-1 League One draw at MK Dons last night (December 15) during which Posh failed to get anywhere near the levels of Saturday’s 4-0 win over Rochdale.

Jonson Clarke-Harris did bag his 12th goal of the season, but the hosts deservedly levelled 15 minutes from time.

Siriki Dembele, who is enduring a flat run of form, is presumably the target of Ferguson’s ire. He was hauled off early in the second-half of a game in which 15th-placed MK enjoyed 64% of possession.

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The draw did move Posh up a place to third ahead of a big game with fifth-placed Ipswich at the Weston Homes Stadium on Saturday (December 19).

“We have a few players out of form who need to get going again,” Ferguson stated. “I can’t keep waiting.

“They need to realise we have players coming back and I am certainly not afraid to field our younger players.

“We couldn’t get out at times and it’s difficult to do that when we had a striker who kept giving the ball away.

“The surface in the middle of the pitch was difficult and we said don’t dribble in that area, but when the ball changed hands we just weren’t good enough in possession.

“I don’t regret the substitution of Dembele for Eisa. When you keep giving the ball away it makes no difference how good you can be.

“We had bits of possession in the first-half when we could have hurt them as they play so open, but we didn’t do as much with the ball as I’d hoped. They started strongly, but we got a foothold in the match and took the lead, but we couldn’t build on it as we weren’t good enough on the ball.

“It could still turn out to be a good point. MK are tough to play against as they keep the ball so well. They are in a false position, but it was important we didn’t lose and we showed some grit to dig in and get a point.”

Ferguson gave a Football League debut to 17 year-old centre-back Ronnie Edwards in place of suspended veteran Nathan Thompson and he excelled.

“I had three teenagers in the side tonight,” Ferguson added. “It was always going to be tough for Harrison Burrows and Flynn Clarke to play as well again so soon after Saturday, but it vwas the right decision to keep them in the side.

“And Ronnie was excellent. He has a fantastic temperament for a 17 year-old. It was like a training session for him. He got us moving. His performance was a big bonus.

“But we lacked energy tonight. Maybe Saturday took too much out of us, but when you don’t play well or have the ball a lot it’s important not to lose and we didn’t.

“If we beat Ipswich on Saturday then it will have been a good week for us.”

Wing-back Idris Kanu limped off after suffering cramp in both legs, but should be fine for the Ipswich game when teenage striker Ricky-Jade Jones should return to the squad for the first time since the defeat at Sunderland in September.

Midfielder Reece Brown passed a late fitness test on a hamstring issue last night.