Posh boss urges his players to stay focused as another pivotal night of League One action approaches

Peterborough United boss Darren Ferguson has urged his players to ‘stay in the moment’ as they prepare to host Steve Evans’ tough Gillingham side in a League One fixture at the Weston Homes Stadium tomorrow (April 20, 7.45pm kick off).

Monday, 19th April 2021, 5:29 pm
Siriki Dembele scores for Posh at Gillingham earlier this season.

Second-Posh are currently eight points clear of third-placed Sunderland and just three points behind leaders Hull City. Hull entertain Sunderland tomorrow.

But Ferguson insists his players have eyes fixed firmly on tomorrow’s game at London Road. They will not be fretting about results elsewhere or looking at the Posh fixtures still to come.

Posh need a maximum of nine points from their final five games to be sure of winning promotion to the Championship. It’s likely they will need even fewer.

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They will be favourites to win tomorrow after Gillingham’s defeat at Oxford on Saturday means it’s unlikely they will now finish in the play-off places.

“We are focussed entirely on what we can control,” Ferguson said. “And for now that means a very tough game against Gillingham.

“I have no idea whether or not Gillingham really believe they can’t reach the play-offs. It’s actually irrelevant because whenever you face a Steve Evans’ side they are certain to play tough with plenty of energy and they will be right in your face.

“If you let them they will make you do an awful lot of defending as they did in the first half of the game at their place. We managed to turn that around (Posh won 3-1 after trailing 1-0 at half-time) and that game has been a useful reference point for tomorrow’s match.

“We know what will happen if we let them get on top. We also know what can happen if we play to our best.

“I was pleased with the composure the players showed against Northampton on Friday. There was no panic when we suffered a setback and we ended up getting the win we needed.

“Tomorrow we will concentrate again on our own performance. We can’t worry about what’s going on elsewhere and we can’t afford to look ahead.

“We have picked up 13 points out of 15 since we lost at Blackpool and if we keep that consistency going we will get where we want to be. Consistency brings confidence.”

Ferguson reported a clean bill of health with the exception of goalkeeper Christy Pym, but the boss admitted star forward Siriki Dembele’s fitness is still being monitored.

“Siriki has knee and back issues,” Ferguson revealed. “But he can play 90 minutes if required. We looked fit, strong and bubbly in training today (Monday). Even Christy was out on the grass doing some handling work.”

Key League one games on Tuesday night: Swindon v Portsmouth (6pm), Accrington v Doncaster (7pm), Wimbledon v Oxford (7pm), Burton v Lincoln (7pm), Rochdale v Blackpool (7pm), Hull v Sunderland (7.45pm), Plymouth v Charlton (7,45pm).