Peterborough United manager Graham Westley accused his players of lacking ambition and desire as they slipped to a 3-0 League One defeat at Millwall today (February 20).
A second successive heavy defeat has left Posh eight points off the play-off places in 12th place.
Westley pulled no punches afterwards after revealing that Michael Bostwick and Erhun Oztumer had suffered with illness overnight. He condemned Bostwick for picking up an unnecessary caution in the final moments, one that will keep him out of crucial home matches against Oldham on Tuesday (February 23) and Swindon next Saturday (February 27).
Influential midfielder Chris Forrester is already a doubt for the Oldham game after picking up an impact injury today. Striker Lee Angol missed today’s match because of injury, while on-loan left-back Harry Toffolo limped off injured at half-time.
Westley said: “I don’t want players in my squad who want to be League One players, I want players who want to be Championship players.
“I didn’t see that ambition or desire in many of my players today. Maybe that’s a problem with signing young players from lower leagues as playing in League One might fulfil their ambitions for now.
“We lacked responsibility on the ball today and we didn’t box very clever at all.
“We were undone by things we knew Millwall were going to do and that’s not good.
“We knew they were strong at set-pieces and we conceded two goals from them. The lads were well prepared for today’s game, but our execution of the game-plan was very poor.
“It can be fine to lose a game if everyone has left everything on the pitch, but that wasn’t the case today.
“Souleymane Coulibaly gave his heart and soul to that match. Not everyone can say they matched his enthusiasm and energy. Many were not good enough today.
“We are in a bad run of form now. Forget the FA Cup games because it’s easy to get up for theose matches. We need to get back to the wonderful football we were playing in League One matches earlier in the season.
“There can be no excuses for a lack of energy. Erhun and Michael Bostwick were ill overnight, but they were tested and we went with them.
“I’m not one for digging players out after a game, but I was disappointed to see a League One play-off player like Michael take a booking in the last minute that will now keep him out of two matches.
“Chris Forrester had already gone off injured by then and Michael is someone who could play at the base of the midfield diamond.
“It’s up to me now to sort things out before Tuesday. I just want to win a game of football and I will pick players for the Oldham game who share that desire.
“We are all here to win games and entertain people and we are not doing either at present.”
Posh scored 34 League One goals in Westley’s first 12 League One matches as manager.
Posh have scored eight goals in Westley’s last 11 League One matches as manager.