Peterborough United manager Steve Evans admits there is no chance of his side winning promotion unless new players arrive at the ABAX Stadium next month.
Posh dropped a place to sixth in League One after a 2-0 defeat at Barnsley today (December 26). It was a first defeat in a competitive match since early in November, a run of 12 matches.
Evans insisted the margin between defeat and a positive result at Oakwall was ‘fine’ and he pointed to missed chances and refereeing decisions as proof.
But he is looking forward to the January transfer window and the opportunity to strengthen his hard-working squad.
Evans tried to arrest a slump in form by changing formation to 3-4-1-2 for today’s game.
“We’ve been running on three tyres rather than four since early in November,” Evans stated. “The lads are giving the club everything, but it’s too easy to get into our team at the moment and I need that to change.
“Saying we’ve lost for the first time in 12 games makes it look better than it actually is. It’s not a sticky run of form, it’s worse than that. We won’t go up if we stay as we are.
“We are not suffering from a lack of hard work, we are suffering from an inability to get the ball down and play.
“And yet we’ve lost today because of fine margins. We should have had a penalty at 0-0, we missed two great chances to score at important times and then we’ve suffered from a horrible decision later on when Ivan Toney is booked for simulation after he’d been hauled down when through on goal.
“If we score the penalty early on and take the lead we have a different game. If we get back to 2-1 like we should have done and maybe Barnsley get nervous.
“I know referee Carl Boyeson is a referee of high integrity, but he will be ringing me tomorrow as he was shocking from start to finish. His decision not to send off the Barnsley player and to book Ivan Toney was scandalous. It looked like he took advice from an assistant, but that sort of decision is just not good enough. If they go down to 10 men for 20 minutes who knows what would happen?
“The change of system worked well at times. We deserved to be level at half-time and we would have been if we had tracked a runner into the penalty area properly.
“We wanted more energy on the wings with the wing-backs and they gave us that at times. Barnsley had lots of good passages of play, but they kept having pops from distance. I can’t remember Conor O’Malley making too many saves, but they scored a brilliant second goal to be fair.
“There is still a long way to go though and as long as we are still in the mix after the Christmas break I am confident we can get where we need to be.”
Posh stayed in the final play off place as Doncaster were beaten easily at Fleetwood.
Posh are next in action at Accrington Stanley on Saturday (Decemeber 29).