Manager reaction: Hard-working Posh are now Robbo’s team

Posh striker Kyle Vassell struck the crossbar with this volley. Photo: Joe Dent/
Posh striker Kyle Vassell struck the crossbar with this volley. Photo: Joe Dent/
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Peterborough United turned into a ‘Dave Robertson team’ during today’s (August 29) 1-1 draw with unbeaten Gillingham in League One at the ABAX Stadium.

Manager Robertson was delighted with his side’s energy, workrate, hunger and desire as Posh battled back from the shock of falling behind in the 85th minute to find a 90th-minute equaliser from Jon Taylor.

Posh remain 18th in League One after five matches, but Robertson believes they can shoot up the table in the next few weeks.

Robertson reverted to a 4-4-2 formation for a game against a side who started the day as League One leaders. He handed a debut to on-loan left-back Callum Elder and gave transfer-listed striker Kyle Vassell his first run-out of the season.

Robertson also kept faith with under-fire goalkeeper Ben Alnwick.

“I instil good habits like workrate, effort and desire into my teams,” Robertson stated. “And today they played a Dave Robertson team. They had a never-say-die attitude which helped rescue a point.

“I was very pleased with the character and hunger the side showed, especially after falling behind so late in the game.

“I didn’t think we deserved to lose the game so I was a very disappointed man after 85 minutes, but the lads didn’t let the disappointment get to them and we finished the game very strongly.

“I was also pleased that the lads didn’t want to settle for a 1-1 draw. They wanted to go and win the game and they almost did.

“It wasn’t our best performance of the season in possession, but out of possession it probably was. We were more solid than we have been all season and Callum Elder was a big part of that at the back. His was a very solid debut.

“kyle Vassell played well also. He created a good chance for Jon Taylor at the start of the game and hit the bar with a stunning volley towards the end.

“Eventually a great ball in from Marcus Maddison led to Jon equalising and we deserved that.

“The key now is to string some displays like that together. If we keep the workrate and desire high, our quality will shine through at this level and we will soon climb the table.

“I was pleased for Ben Alnwick as well. He’s a tough lad and he showed today that his couple of mistakes are behind him.

“It’s important as a manager that you back your players. They don’t turn into bad players overnight.”

Gillingham manager Justin Edinburgh was unhappy that Taylor’s late leveller was allowed to stand. He felt that Posh centre-back Ricardo Santos was offside when he attempted to reach Maddison’s point-saving cross.

Posh were denied a point at Burton Albion last weekend (August 22) by a poor refereeing decision.

Robertson added: “We suffered last week with a late refereeing decision that went against us. All I know from our experience is that the referee gave a goal and there is no point in arguing about it.”

Posh were again without injured full-backs Michael Smith and Kgosi Ntlhe. Centre-back Gaby Zakuani served the second of his three-game suspension.

Posh are next in action when travelling to Millwall for a Johnstone’s Paint Trophy tie on Tuesday (September 1).

The transfer window for permanent moves shuts at 6pm on September 1.