Peterborough United manager Darren Ferguson insists there is zero chance of his side taking Shrewsbury lightly in their League One fixture at the ABAX Stadium tomorrow (February 23, 3pm kick off).
The Shrews will arrive at London Road in 22nd place and with the worst away record in League One having picked up just nine points from 16 road trips, winning just once courtesy of a late goal at AFC Wimbledon in November.
They’ve also won just once in the league since manager Sam Ricketts took charge and that was back in December against Coventry City. Their current winless run is nine matches, although they did perform well in the FA Cup, winning at Championship side Stoke and taking Premier League Wolves to a replay before bowing out.
Posh have won just four of their last 17 League One matches and have struggled at home since winning the first two matches of the season at the ABAX Stadium, but they did register a confidence-boosting victory at Oxford last weekend, one that Ferguson hopes will help deliver better performances.
“We obviously had a lift last weekend,” Ferguson stated. “But it’s important we benefit from that and get some momentum going before we start a busy run of games in March.
“Our record over a length of time still isn’t good enough, but, although we didn’t play as well as we can at Oxford, I’m expecting the boost of a win will lead to better performances.
“The quality has to be better and with the players at my disposal I’m confident that will happen. We will try and get on the front foot from the first whistle tomorrow and impose our game on Shrewsbury.
“It’s a tough fixture for us though. The teams at the bottom are fighting for their lives and Shrewsbury’s results in the FA Cup tell us how good they can be.
“I have watched their recent games and they play in a way that can be difficult to combat if you don’t do certain things right. That’s what we’ve been working on this week. They played very well in the first half of their draw at Bristol Rovers last weekend and they have signed a couple of decent players on loan.”
Posh will be without on-loan centre-back Josh Knight for three-to-four weeks after he damaged ankle ligaments on his Posh debut at Oxford. Ryan Tafazolli is expected to step up and start alongside Ben White in the heart of the Posh back four.
On-loan left-back Daniel Lafferty is rated at no better than 50/50 because of a hamstring niggle, but Tyler Denton is now free of suspension and available to play.
Midfielder Callum Cooke has recovered from the illness that kept him out at Oxford, while Lee Tomlin is pushing for a start at the tip of the Posh midfield diamond.
“I will have tough selection decisions every week which is a good thing,” Ferguson added. “George Cooper and Lee Tomlin are both capable of playing well at the tip of the diamond, Callum Cooke had done well for me before he fell ill and I have three good fit centre-backs.
“Ivan Toney is a top player, but I rate Matt Godden highly as well.”
Shrewsbury hope to have influential midfield duo Greg Docherty and Josh Laurent back tomorrow.