Popular Peterborough United defender Gaby Zakuani insists the players are right behind Dave Robertson’s bid to become the club’s permanent manager.
Robertson took charge of Posh for the first time yesterday (February 28) and inspired a 2-0 League One win over Bradford City that catapulted the side up five places to 10th in the League One table.
Zakuani was a deserved winner of the man-of-the-match after winning a recall to the side alongside 19 year-old Ricardo Santos at the heart of the Posh defence. Neither player had previously made an appearance for the first team in 2015.
Zakuani also revealed that the playing squad are thrilled to have ‘legend’ Grant McCann back at the club in a coaching capacity.
Zakuani said: “The players are all backing Dave. I’ve known him a long time and he’s Posh through and through. He’s passionate for the club and maybe that’s what we need right now. Dave’s done a great job with the youngsters on a tight budget and he made a good impression on the players from the off after taking charge this week.
“Having Grant on the coaching side is also a boost for us. He’s a club legend in my eyes and he has the respect of all the players. He’s passed all his coaching badges and with his knowledge of the game he should become a top coach.
“Dave and Grant took the pressure off the squad this week. They kept things simple. It was a bit of a back to basics performance, but they didn’t issue too many instructions and let the players play with freedom. The shackles were taken off a litle bit and whereas we had previously always tried to play out from the back, we concentrated on our defending.
“Me and Ricardo won our headers and tackles and then let the flair players take over. We deserved our win and the clean sheet was very pleasing.
“Ricardo is just a young boy, but he has the physique to do a great job as a centre-back in this league. It feels like I’m playing FIFA as I have to keep control of him, but he listens and maybe I’m the ideal partner for him. Ricardo’s problem in the past has been concentrating for 90 minutes, but he was on top of his game against a good Bradford side.
“We deserved to win as we restricted them to hardly any chances. They played it long a lot, but we coped pretty well. We knew it was going to be a battle, but we won that battle.”
Zakuani tried to claim the opening Posh goal eight minutes into the second-half despite TV evidence suggesting it was an own goal from Bradford City defender Stephen Darby. Michael Bostwick completed the victory from the penalty spot in the final moments.
“I’m sure I got a touch on it,” Zakuani added. “So it’s my goal until someone takes it off me!
“But seriously I’m more pleased with the clean sheet than the goal. There have been times in the past when I’ve felt I should be in the team so I was delighted to get this opportunity to prove I deserve a shirt. My aim now is to keep hold of it.
“I love this club and I came back from the African Cup of Nations in good form and wanting to help the side through a tough period.
“It’s just one win though, We will take small steps and we have to now get ready for a tough game at Sheffield United on Tuesday (March 3).”
Posh remain four points outside the play-off places after their second home win in a row. They are now nine points clear of the relegation zone.