Peterborough United manager Steve Evans insists the final scoreline did not accurately reflect his team’s performance as they bowed out of the FA Cup with a 5-0 beating at Championship side Middlesbrough today (January 5).
Evans claimed his team delivered the best 45-minute display of his tenure at Posh in the first-half at the Riverside, but they couldn’t turn their dominance into goals.
Two quick goals at the start of the second-half then turned the game in the home side’s favour and they ran out comfortable winners in the end.
“We were well beaten in the end,” Evans admitted. “We can have no complaints about losing over the 90 minutes, but I want plenty of focus on the first-half when we were comfortably the better side.
“We didn’t just play well on the break, we also dominated possession and created chances that I would expect our players to take. You have to take your chances against this calibre of opposition or it comes back to bite you. We played some great football in that period.
“We also nullified their threat which forced Tony Pulis (Boro manager) to change some things and they hit us hard at the start. I knew they would react and we didn’t cope with it unfortunately.
“But the first two goals were very avoidable from our point of view. We made individual errors again and after going two goals up they grew in confidence.
“We never gave up though. The players kept working hard right until the final whistle. It was a long afternoon for the lads after we fell behind, but they kept going.
“Apart from one or two individual moments I can’t criticise the players. The final scoreline was very harsh, but we will learn from it and get ready to go again.”
Evans handed debuts to on-loan defenders Daniel Lafferty and Ben White and he was pleased with their contributions. Posh started with a 3-5-2 formation, but switched to 4-4-2 after falling 2-0 behind.
“For 60-70 minutes Dan and Ben were very good,” Evans added. “Ben was probably a bit better, but if that’s the standard of player we are now signing we will be okay in the second-half of the season.
“The league is the main thing. A couple of results went our way today.”
Third-placed Sunderland drew 1-1 at Charlton, who are now fourth, today. Eighth-placed Coventry failed to make ground on Posh after losing at Scunthorpe.
Posh are next in League One action at home to Rochdale on Saturday (January 12).
Posh travel to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea Under 23s in a Checkatrade Trophy tie on Wednesday (January 9).
White can’t play in that game as he is cup-tied.