Peterborough United manager Graham Westley blamed a lack of aggression, some ill-discipline and a poor start for tonight’s (September 29) 3-2 League One defeat at the hands of an impressive Bury outfit at the ABAX Stadium.
Posh played for 66 minutes with 10 men after midfielder Erhun Oztumer was sent off for serious foul play. They recovered from a 1-0 deficit to lead 2-1 in the early stages of the second-half thanks to a brace from central defender Gaby Zakuani, but Bury hit back to seal a deserved three points, scoring the winner 10 minutes from time.
The defeat, a first in four games and a first under Westley’s management, dropped Posh a place to 15th ahead of Saturday’s (October 3) home game with Millwall.
“There is a lot to learn from that performance,” Westley admitted. “We lost the game to a moment of ill-discipline. Was it a dangerous or violent tackle? Not from where I was standing, but going to ground in the modern game gives the referee the option to show a red card.
“But the way a young team reacted to the sending off was encouraging. It was a positive reaction, but we shouldn’t wait for a moment of adversity to get us going. We need to start a game like that. Our energy levels were not where they were at the weekend and that’s something we will look at.
“It was inevitable we would have to mount a rearguard action. but the lack of thrust going forward in the second-half also proved costly. Settling for one point and not going for three didn’t help.
“It was a big moment at 2-1 when Lee Angol went through. If he scores there it could kill the game. You don’t have to score great goals, just slide the ball past the ‘keeper, but I’m not going to boil the game down to one missed opportunity.
“I want to commend the character and the work ethic, but we need to adopt a more aggressive attitude if we are to win games,
“I want us on top of games and playing on the front foot from the word go, not reacting to adversity as we did in this match.
“People have told me we haven’t been scoring enough goals so another two is a positive.”
Posh won’t be appealing Oztumer’s red card so he will miss the next three matches. Fellow midfielder Jermaine Anderson serves the final game of his three-match ban against Millwall.