Peterborough United manager Graham Westley is tipping his side to bounce back strongly and give Millwall a hard time in their League One fixture at the ABAX Stadium tomorrow (October 3, 3pm kick-off).
Westley was disappointed, but not too down, after Tuesday’s (September 29) defeat at the hands of an impressive Bury side in his first home game in charge.
He expects another tough home game against a Millwall side who are unbeaten in five League One away game this season. The Lions have picked up 11 of their 14 points on the road.
Posh will be without suspended midfielders Jermaine Anderson and Erhun Oztumer as well as long-term injury victims Joe Gormley, Jack Baldwin, Kgosi Ntlhe and Harry Beautyman, but Westley is confident he will field a team capable of collecting three points.
“Good sides bounce back and the lads know they are a good side,” Westley announced. “If we can play the type of football we know we can play then we can expose Millwall’s weaknesses.
“It won’t be easy as Millwall are a good side. I watched them recently at Port Vale and they were very impressive on the night. They mix their game up well. They have some good footballers, but they are not afraid to hit the ball long and into the channels.
“It’s another tough test for us, but it’s not about Millwall, it’s about how we play.
“My players know they are at a good club surrounded by ambitious people. It’s a club that’s ‘been there and done it’ recently. My players are in a good frame of mind and we will be intent tomorrow on playing good football, scoring goals and entertaining and exciting our fans.
“I was disappointed with the Bury result as I didn’t want to start with a home defeat, but we were playing a top end League One club who are in great form. We gave it a good go and the players showed that they care about the shirt. They just fell short in the end.
I was impressed with Bury. They looked in great physical condition and they played excellent football.
“Their manager (David Fltcroft) told me afterwards what a good place they are in. They have the use of the Carrington training ground and they obviously make great use of the facilities there.
“Bury have an excellent nutritional and recovery programme in place. They have ice baths on a Saturday night at Carrington after a game. They are a club that we must try and emulate.
“That’s the sort of attention to detail that a successful team needs now. If we want to be a top end League One club, and we will be, it’s the sort of thing we have to embrace and to be fair my players are buying into it.
“I haven’t been party to the programmes my players were using before, but I’ve had a good long chat with them and given them a template on how players should look after themselves.
“You can make massive gains in that sort of area. The better a player’s physical condition is, the more likely he is able to play fantastic football.
“There’s a saying in football that if you are 1% down on hydration you will be 10% down on concentration and margins like that can make a difference.”
The absence of Anderson and Oztumer could force Posh to ditch the midfield diamond that served them well until clashing with Bury. Winger Jon Taylor could start against Millwall if the system Westley chooses includes more attacking width.