Peterborough United manager Darren Ferguson admits he’s embarrassed by his team’s recent form.
A 2-1 home defeat at the hands of League One play-off rivals Coventry City today (March 16) means Posh have won two and lost six of nine matches since Ferguson returned to the club at the end of January.
Posh were sixth when previous manager Steve Evans was sacked and now they are eighth, but remarkably they are still just two points outside the play-off zone.
Not that Ferguson would blame anyone for writing Posh’s chances off. A run of five wins in the last 22 matches confirms the malaise had set in well before he returned to manage Posh for the third time.
Ferguson insists nothing will change until the players show more character and fight after falling behind in games.
“No-one will give us a prayer of finishing in the top six and why should they?” Ferguson stated. “It’s not like we’re on a run like Doncaster of six games without a win, we’ve been on a bad run for 22 matches during which we’ve shown relegation form rather than play-off form.
“I’m embarrassed by the results since I’ve been back. It’s two wins in nine games and that’s not what I expected at all, but I’m learning things about the players all the time.
”Successful teams are strong physically and mentally and clearly we are struggling in that respect. That comes from within.
“It’s been another disappointing day with another disappointing result at home, but it’s the manner of defeat that bothers me.
“We actually started the game on the front foot and I was happy with the opening 40 minutes, but when we fell behind we started to struggle. The 10 minutes either side of half time have cost us the game. Just like at Bradford last week as soon as we concede the first goal we get sloppy and disorganised. We need a leader, someone to organise us, but we were lacking in that respect again.
“And the reaction to falling 2-0 behind was very worrying. There was still 40 minutes left and that’s plenty of time to get back into the game, but instead Coventry dominated us, picked us off well and they were worthy winners,
“The wind played a part in the game, but they used it better than us. I’ve not seen the second goal back, but we’ve conceded from a huge kick by the goalkeeper that we should have dealt with. After that we were all over the place. I’ve seen things that are very concerning.
“And it won’t change until we find some fight and some character. Falling behind drains the players. You can’t just turn up and expect to win football matches.”
Posh are next in action against a Southend team in freefall at the ABAX Stadium next Saturday (March 23).