Peterborough United manager Darren Ferguson has demanded more attacking quality from his side in their big play-off battle against Coventry at the ABAX Stadium tomorrow (March 16, 3pm).
Since delivering a wonderful display to beat Wycombe 4-2 in their last home home outing, Posh have been beaten by bottom two Bradford City and AFC Wimbledon. The only goal they scored in either game was a last-minute penalty from Marcus Maddison.
Ferguson’s hope for a bigger goal-threat hasn’t been helped by Lee Tomlin missing training yesterday because of toothache. Posh do have central defender Rhys Bennett available after winning an appeal against his red card at Wimbledon.
Posh will have another chance of returning to the top six tomorrow providing Doncaster don’t beat Barnsley in a televised local derby at the Keepmoat Stadium tonight.
Posh now have three home games in a row with Southend (March 23) and Gillingham (April 6) the visitors after Coventry, but they haven’t won successive League One home games since the first two matches of the season against Bristol Rovers and Luton.
“We were excellent in our last home game when we could have scored even more goals,” Ferguson said. “And we need to get back to that tomorrow after two poor results.
“We didn’t produce enough attacking quality in the final third in those matches. We’ve worked hard on getting the ball into good attacking areas and then it’s up to some gifted players to produce.
“We played two strikers against Wimbledon and if we do that we have to give them quality service and it didn’t happen. There were too many misplaced passes and crosses. If we score first in either game we probably win them, but we didn’t take advantage of the periods when we were dominating the ball, in the first-half at Bradford and following a dodgy first 30 minutes at Wimbledon.
“Fine margins are going against us and costing us, but we are still very positive. Our form over the last 20 games or so is nowhere near good enough for the play-offs, but the fact is there is still plenty to play for. If results go our way we could be back in the top six on Saturday night, but we have to be better in both boxes.
“It’s a big game tomorrow. Coventry are very fluid and have some good young attacking players. They play good football so it’s a different test to the Wimbledon game which was very physical at times.
“They will have great travelling support as well so we will need our fans to back us. It’s upto us though to get their bums off their seats by playing in an entertaining, attacking way. We have to be brave.”
Bennett is expected to play tomorrow and midfielder Louis Reed will also keep his place after Ferguson praised his man-of-the-match display against Wimbledon. Getting Tomlin, Marcus Maddison, Ivan Toney and Matt Godden into the same side remains Ferguson’s biggest dilemma.