POSH MAKING FERGIE PROUD

Posh v Middlesborough away Tommy Rowe goal and celebrations
Posh v Middlesborough away Tommy Rowe goal and celebrations
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POSH boss Darren Ferguson insists everyone at the club should be proud of their achievements in 2011.

Posh brought the curtain down on an incredible year of a promotion, 122 goals. Sensational football and thrilling comebacks with a creditable 1-1 draw at Middlesbrough on Saturday.

It was the latest in a long line of outstanding results, this one secured against a team sitting in second place in the Championship.

Ferguson said: “It’s been a phenomenal year and great credit should go to everyone involved. In a way this result summed the year up for us in terms of the fantastic character and spirit we have in the squad.

“We were far from our best football-wise, but we dug in and picked up another great result. We should be proud of what we have achieved and aim for more of the same in 2012.”

Tommy Rowe’s late equaliser left Posh in 15th place, 11 points clear of the relegation place. They achieved it despite the absence of five senior players because of injury and with two youth team players on the substitutes’ bench.

Three kids could be employed on the bench when Birmingham visit London Road today (3pm) as left-back Tom Kennedy’s loan spell from Leicester expired yesterday.

Posh will again be missing Grant McCann, Mark Little, Lee Tomlin and Lee Frecklington, while on-loan midfielder Ryan Tunnicliffe only has an outside chance of returning as he’s picked up a groin injury to go with the illness that kept him out of the Boxing Day win over Nottingham Forest.

Teenage midfielder Joe Newell, a youngster at the Blues Academy for eight years, is likely to make the first Championship start of his career today.

Ferguson added: “Joe deserves a chance as he’s done well as a substitute in recent games and it looks like he will get it today.

“But we probably have to put three youth team players on the bench. It’s not ideal, but it’s not worth risking the likes of Lee Tomlin and Mark Little in case we set their recovery back a few weeks.

“There’s a slight chance that Ryan Tunnicliffe will make it, but we will just go with what we have like we always do. We certainly won’t be spending the money some other Championship clubs will in the transfer window.

“There were times at Middlesbrough on Saturday that it looked like it was a game too far for a lot of the players, but they rallied and came on strong on the end.

“That character has got us a long way this year. They really are a fantastic group of players to work with.”

Ferguson’s squad should be bolstered by the return of on-loan players Kelvin Langmead and Nicky Ajose this week. Defender Grant Basey completed a free transfer move to League One side Wycombe yesterday. He has been on loan at the Chairboys.