Peterborough United manager Graham Westley admitted his side won ‘ugly’ against Fleetwood at the ABAX Stadium today (November 14).
Second-half goals from substitute Souleymane Coulibaly and midfielder Jermaine Anderson - either side of a strike from form Posh player David Ball - secured a 2-1 win and lifted Westley’s men up three places to 10th in the League One table.
Posh played well in a scoreless first-half, but lost their way after the break. They had to survive heavy late pressure from a team in the bottom four before sealing the three points.
Westley said; “I thought it would be a difficult game after watching Fleetwood beat Sheffield United in midweek and that’s exactly what we got. I believe Fleetwood will climb into the top half of the table. They have discipline, organisation and quality.
“We weren’t clinical enough despite playing well in the first half and we got the warning shot when Fleetwood hit the bar just before the break.
“We had the urgency required to get ahead in the second half, but then also displayed the complacency you sometimes get from young players, We went onto the back-foot and allowed Fleetwood to get level.
“Then it became a question of character and we showed the sort of desire and ambition needed to win games and win promotion.
“We had to dig deep after getting back in front as Fleetwood threw numbers forward and brought on some brightness from the bench.
“The fans might not have been entertained by four-or-five goals, but they have been entertained by the character that earned a very good three points.
“We have a strong ability to take care of the ball and work it, but quite often ball-players don’t show the other side of their game.
“But that’s not a problem with this group of players and we are improving all the time as a defensive unit.
“We went into this match on the back of two clean sheets in the previous three games and while it was disappointing to concede, it is still only four goals against in four games.
“If we can get that down below a goal-a-game, we will be in really good shape.
“The players are getting a belief in each other and the culture of the club.
“We can’t hide from the fact it was a disappointing second half, but we came through it.”
Anderson was named man-of-the-match by the Posh matchday sponsors even though his manager thought the 19 year-old was far from his best. He also felt his side missed experienced central defender Gaby Zakuani who is away on international duty with DR Congo.
Coulibaly was also expected to be away, but delayed his departure for an international match for Ivory Coast Under 23s by 24 hours in order to play against Fleetwood.
“Jermaine wasn’t at his best today and will certainly have better games,” Westley added.
“He is a fantastic footballer, but he is learning the other side of the game about being a team player and playing his part in results like today.
“It would have been easy for the young lads to drop their heads on a day when our most experienced player, Gaby Zakuani, was away on international duty.
“We would have loved to have him out there today because he would have known the right decisions to make and the right moments at which to play short or that bit longer.
Posh are next in League One action at bottom club Crewe next Saturday (November 21).