Posh reaction: Robbo has selection problems after 0-0 draw

Posh striker Joe Gormley saw this shot blocked in the 0-0 draw with Cambridge. Photo: David Lowndes.
Posh striker Joe Gormley saw this shot blocked in the 0-0 draw with Cambridge. Photo: David Lowndes.
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Peterborough United manager Dave Robertson admitted he has first-team selection dilemmas ahead of next Saturday’s (August 8) League One opener at Rochdale.

Posh and Cambridge United fought out a 0-0 draw at the ABAX Stadium today (August 1) in a memorial match for Chris Turner which doubled as the final home match of the summer for Robertson’s men.

Posh played poorly going forward and that might prompt Robertson into re-thinking his preferred starting XI.

There is one more friendly at Bishop’s Stortford on Tuesday (August 4) when the likes of teenagers Tobi Adebayo-Rowling and Harry Anderson as well new signings Kieran Sadlier and Lee Angol could force their way into the manager’s plans.

Right-back Michael Smith (back spasm) and central defender Gaby Zakuani (rolled ankle) limped out of a match today that occasionally saw tempers boil over. They should both be fit for the trip to Spotland.

Robertson said: “First and foremost the teams and the supporters were here to honour a great man today and we put on a spectacle for him. I’m pleased we had this opportunity, but at the end of the day it was also our final home friendly of the season and a good chance for me to look at the players in a competitive environment.

“And I have to say I have a few selection dilemmas. We didn’t as a team play with the tempo and energy I wanted until the final 15 minutes when our pressure finally got our crowd going.

“The teams neutralised each other for the most part. There wasn’t a great deal of action, but I learnt a bit more about which players can impact matches and who can possibly start games in League One.

“We were unlucky to lose Michael Smith so early, but Tobi Adebayo-Rowling was excellent. I also thought Jermaine and Harry Anderson improved us with their energy and passion. Harry linked up well with Tobi down the right flank in the period when we were on top.

“Michael should be okay for next weekend, but I would have no problem putting Tobi in if necessary.”

Today’s game ended on a slightly farcical note. With 15 minutes to go the club announced there would be a penalty shoot out in the event of a draw after 90 minutes, but that idea was then quickly abandoned, apparently on ‘safety’ grounds. At the behest of Cambridge according to Robertson.

“Both teams had agreed it would be a good idea to take penalties in a stadium situation with a bit of pressure,” Robertson stated. “But with about 10 minutes to go Cambridge changed their mind as they felt the game had become a bit too hostile.

“It was a nice idea, but at the end of the day the main thing was to honour Chris Turner and I’m sure the big man would have enjoyed the game.”

Robertson confirmed that Joe Newell played for Championship side Rotherham today after spending a few days on trial with the club.

Robertson also confirmed that Posh and Leyton Orient remain in talks regarding the possible transfer of Jack Payne to Brisbane Road.

Injured Posh midfielder Harry Beautyman is due to resume training on Monday (August 3).