Peterborough United have already erased their beating at the hands of Bradford City from the memory banks.
Posh were crushed 4-0 at the ABAX Stadium by the Bantams on Saturday (February 13) - they’ve only suffered two bigger home defeats in their 56-year Football League history - as the exertions during a long week finally caught up with Graham Westley’s players.
Manager Westley admitted his players were exhausted when they returned to work yesterday (February 15), but he’s backing them to bounce back in a crucial League One game at Millwall on Saturday (February 20).
“We had some ridiculously low data readings from Saturday,” Westley revealed. “Some of the distances my players ran were very low compared to normal which shows how much a long week had taken out of them.
“Martin Samuelsen managed just 7m of high speed running in 45 minutes when normally he’d run 200-300m at high speed in 90 minutes.
“It was a horrible day for us against Bradford, but we have all managed to press the ‘stop’ and ‘delete’ buttons and just get ourselves ready for the next game.
“I haven’t had to pick the players up as such because they are all well aware of what happened. We weren’t ourselves, but there were reasons for that.
“We had a long, tough game against West Brom in the FA Cup a few days earlier and don’t forget we played at Chesterfield before that with a reduced number of players for a long part of the game. These things caught up with us and the risk I took with selection didn’t work out.
“I could have picked the less experienced players who would have been fresher, but if that hadn’t worked I’d have been criticised.
“I was interested to see that West Brom won at Everton on Saturday despite selecting nine of the players who started against us. I asked them about their recovery programme and it was fascinating to receive the feedback.
“They pointed out that they won the match against us so received a psychological boost from that, but they also pointed out their game is about defending their penalty area, while our game is about energy and high-tempo attacking play which inevitably takes more out of you.
“We can’t forget the Bradford match completely, but we also can’t dwell on it.
“We can’t get too down about it, but we can make sure we are refreshed and ready for the Millwall match.”
Westley is planning to watch Millwall’s home match with Scunthorpe tonight. A win for ‘The Lions’ would leave Posh eight points from the play-offs with 16 matches to go.
A point for Bradford City in their home game with Southend would mean Posh drop down a place to 11th.
The only teams to have won a Football League match at Posh by more than four goals are Northampton (1985) and Rotherham (1999) who both won 5-0 at London Road,