Peterborough United manager Graham Westley shrugged off questions about his future after his team’s miserable form in the second half of the season continued today (April 23).
Posh went down 2-0 at home to play-off chasing Scunthorpe at the ABAX Stadium. It was a 10th home League One defeat of the season for Posh who stay in 14th place after a fourth defeat in five matches.
A Ricardo Santos own goal and a header from visiting substitute Tom Hopper earned Scunthorpe a fourth-straight win against an experimental Posh side.
Westley gave 17 year-old midfielder le Da Silva a start and recalled January signing Adil Nabi from the wilderness.
Westley was asked if he felt under increased pressure after the game - Posh chairman Darragh MacAnthony was at the match - and responded: “I come to work every day and put pressure on myself, I don’t like losing football matches.
“But I know what the job is at this club. It’s to build a long-term winning football team and with that in mind I want to give young players the chance to grow and gain experience.
“That’s the only way they and we will succeed. We will need these young players to be ready for next season.
“I know the fans want to see a team winning at home, but I also hope they see that big picture management is as important as game on the day management right now.
“Young players have to be allowed to fall off the bike so they can see learn to ride the bike properly.
“We had fewer than 300 Football League games on the pitch in outfield positions and it was understandable they struggled at times against an experienced, well-organised team who had a very good gameplan. We fell into their traps too often, but a lot of learning went on out there today.
“That extra experience enabled them to counter our attacking phases and exploitf our defensive phases.
“There were a lot of downbeat faces in the dressing room after the game. There were lots of chins on the floor which surprised me as they showed their potential at times in the game.
“You might be surprised to hear me say it, but there were some terrific performances from young players.
“Young Leo, at 17, was excellent. He made an impact in both boxes in a fine 90-minute display. He will be a Premier League player.
“And Adil Nabi showed that he can be influential with his range of passing skills. Adil will learn when to play the quick ball forward and when to stay patient.
“Ricardo Santos is another young player with a bright future. It’s true too many goals have come from his errors as one did today, but for the first 45 minutes he played very maturely. He didn’t over-play in the wrong areas, but his problem can be one of over-confidence and complacency when things are going well for him.
“It’s easy to be negative about him, but I want to be positive and say I have a lot of confidence in him.
“But he has now played enough league games to be able to start knuckling down and making fewer mistakes.”
Posh have just two League One matches remaining, against Shrewsbury (away, April 30) and Blackpool (home, May 8). Both opponents are battling against relegation.