Minor miracles can happen

Posh defender Kgosi Ntlhe outjumps Walsall's Romaine Sawyers. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.
Posh defender Kgosi Ntlhe outjumps Walsall's Romaine Sawyers. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.
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Manager Dave Robertson is not throwing the towel in even though a poor Easter campaign has left Peterborough United needing a minor miracle to reach the League One play-offs.

Posh followed their 2-0 defeat at struggling Scunthorpe on Good Friday with a drew 0-0 at home to lowly Walsall today (April 6) to leave themselves six points and four places outside the top six with just five matches to play.

Posh have now scored just one goal in their last five League One matches and six changes to the side that started at Scunthorpe as well as a switch in playing formation made no difference today.

Robertson and his playing squad have now cancelled their regular days off until the end of the season on May 3 in a last-ditch attempt to give impetus and momentum to a flagging campaign.

“It was a frustrating afternoon,” Roberston said. “We’re all disappointed that we haven’t won a home game that we were capable of winning.

“But we are still in there fighting and that’s exactly what we intend to do. We are all in this together and we will try and win our last five matches and see where it takes us.

“There were positives today. The lads had a real go and we kept a clean sheet and we didn’t lose. We weren’t brave enough on the ball in the first-half, but we were better after the break.

“Harry Anderson’s arrival as a substitute perked us up. He gave us a bit of pace behind, and a bit of spark, and he was unlucky not to get us the goal we needed.

“I changed the system to try and make us more creative and to give our opponents something to think about.

“When I play 3-5-2 I like the wing-backs to be wingers. The lads at the back all adapted to the system well, but we just couldn’t get enough going in attack.

“In agreement with the players we have cancelled their days off until the end of the regular season. It’s not a case of working them hard, although we will on some days, it’s more a case of organising team-bonding sessions and the players have bought into it.

“They are prepared to make sacrifices for the club which is a credit to them.”

Rising boxing star Tommy Martin, an old Posh youth team player, is understood to have been signed up to work with the players this week.

Robertson shook up the playing squad today. All three loan players signed on transfer deadline day - Luke Williams, James Pearson and Alan Sheehan - were left out of the squad altogether as was Harry Beautyman, who played at Scunthorpe, and Christian Burgess. Erhun Oztumer was back in the matchday 18, but didn’t come on.

“I haven’t seen the loan players perform in the system that I wanted to use today,” Robertson added. “That’s why they weren’t involved. I didn’t name the squad until 1pm.

“I will need all the players between now and the end of the season though. It’s been difficult to find a place for Erhun in a 4-4-2 formation. The system we played today is better for him.”

Jon Taylor limped out of the action at half-time today and could face another scan on his troublesome knee injury. He’s already doubtful for the League One trip to promotion contenders Swindon on Saturday (April 11).