Peterborough United manager blames ill-discipline for a poor performance

Alex Woodyard of Peterborough United in action with Lewis O'Brien of Bradford City. Picture: Joe Dent
Alex Woodyard of Peterborough United in action with Lewis O'Brien of Bradford City. Picture: Joe Dent
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Peterborough United manager Darren Ferguson accused his players of ill-discipline after they suffered a shock 3-1 League One defeat at lowly Bradford City today (March 9).

Posh conceded three goals in the final 20 minutes to miss a golden chance to move into a League One play-off spot. Remarkably Posh suffered no real damage as far as their League One position is concerned - they remain seventh on goal difference as sixth-placed Doncaster were also beaten at rock bottom Wimbledon.

Ben White of Peterborough United in action against Bradford City. Picture: Joe Dent

Ben White of Peterborough United in action against Bradford City. Picture: Joe Dent

But Ferguson admits he found his team’s second-half display worrying. He also revealed an early Matt Godden header was wrongly disallowed for offside.

“We were in complete control in the first-half,” Ferguson stated. “Our shape caused them problems, but we just lacked the patience to make our possession tell. We showed good composure, but we also tried to cross the ball too early, too often. We should have been ahead as Matt Godden’s ‘goal’ wasn’t offside.

“We told them at half-time to keep playing, but to show more patience in and around the area. Instead we tried too many Hollywood balls. We kept ignoring Joe Ward who was unmarked on the wing and instead tried to play ambitious passes into crowded areas.

“I knew a new manager in Gary Bowyer would have them organised and he would have the crowd behind his team, but they are things professional footballers have to deal with.

Matt Godden of Peterborough United battles for the ball with Nat Knight-Percival of Bradford City. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.

Matt Godden of Peterborough United battles for the ball with Nat Knight-Percival of Bradford City. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.

“And when we fell behind we just lost our structure and everyone started playing as individuals. That worried me. We lost our discipline. We were 1-0 down with 20 minutes to go, but we lost our way and they scored two more quick goals to kill us off. Panicking like that is not acceptable.

“We have to defend solidly and then hope one of our talented forward players produces some magic, but I saw things today that I will need to address before we play again on Tuesday.

“We were poor in the second-half. Bradford were probably happy to reach half time level, but they deserved to win on the second-half.

“We were sloppy. It wasn’t good enough for this club or this club’s supporters. It was back to type in a way. Consistency will get you into the top six this season, but we haven’t won back-to-back games since October which says a lot.

“The only good things about today came elsewhere with Doncaster losing and Blackpool drawing at home, but we have to look after our own performances or we have no chance.

“This was a massive wasted opportunity to get into the top six. We could have cemented our position in the play-offs with better discipline.

“Our performance was nowhere near where it needs to be.”

On-loan Posh midfielder Kyle Dempsey was left out of the squad for reasons of form.