Peterborough United manager Darren Ferguson has promised his players will react the right way to chairman Darragh MacAnthony’s public flogging of their weekend (January 10) performance against Colchester.
MacAnthony delivered a list of grievances he had towards the playing squad within hours of the final whistle blowing on an eighth defeat in the last 11 League One matches. Posh lost 2-0 at The ABAX Stadium - a fourth home match in a row without scoring - to a team in the League One relegation zone.
Those complaints were seen by Ferguson the following day and discussed with the players yesterday (January 12).
“We’ve all opened ourselves up to criticism in the last couple of months,” Ferguson admitted. “It’s unusual for a chairman to say what he did in public, but we have an unusual chairman. We also live in a world where social media is popular and criticisms are easy to make and easy to see.
“The comments the chairman made were right though and he had every right to make them. We’ve let him and the fans down with our recent performances and results.
“I didn’t know he was going to say what he did. I saw it on Sunday (January 11) morning and I talked about it with the players yesterday. They don’t have any issues with the chairman expressing an opinion and I know they will respond in the right way by answering him on the pitch.
“Their standards have not been high enough. Everyone knows it and that includes the players.”
Ferguson will face his critics in a hastily-arranged fans’ forum on Thursday (January 15, 6.15-7.15pm). The event in the Caroline Hand Executive Suite has attracted a capacity audience of 150.
It was the manager’s idea to front-up to the supporters and he’s not expecting an easy ride.
“I wanted the opportunity to speak to the fans,” Ferguson added. “I’m looking forward to it and I will answer any question as long as the tone is respectful.”
Ferguson also revealed that winger Jon Taylor has suffered a relapse on his recovery from knee surgery and is unlikely to be available for the League One trip to Port Vale on Saturday (January 17).
And experienced midfielder Grant McCann could be leaving the club during the January transfer window with Irish League side Linfield among the clubs interested in the out-of-favour playmaker.
Ferguson insists there has been no fall-out with one of the club’s most popular players of recent seasons.
“Grant wants to play every week, but I think he would be better off doing more coaching,” Ferguson said. “I have a lot of younger midfielders at the club and I think that’s the way to go, and Grant respects that totally.
“His last contract was for two years and the second year was coaching-related. Grant’s done a great job with many of our younger players, but if he wants to carry on playing regularly then he might have to leave.”