Peterborough United manager Darren Ferguson wants to inflict psychological damage on the rest of the candidates for the final League One play-off place by beating Gillingham at London Road tonight (8 April, 7.45pm kick-off).
This is Posh’s game in hand on the chasing pack and victory would establish a six-point lead over their nearest pursuers, MK Dons. Ferguson believes that advantage would be hard to peg back.
“This is a vital game,” Ferguson admitted. “It’s our game in hand and it’s another home game. If we win it gets us six points clear with just five games to go and that would make it hard psychologically for the teams chasing us.
“It wouldn’t mean we are certain to finish six, but we would be in a great position, especially as we have another three home games after this one.”
Posh are expecting a decent crowd tonight thanks to the club’s generous discounted ticket offer for those who went to Wembley for the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Final a the end of last night (full details below).
Ferguson added: “We were all disappointed with the midweek crowd for our last home game, especially as it came straight after the Wembley win.
“But it should be a cracking atmosphere tonight and we know what we have to do to get the crowd on side. We want shots on goal, crosses in the penalty area and good attacking play, with good movement at a good tempo.”
Ferguson regrets not freshening his side up ahead of Saturday’s (April 5) game at Wolves, but he will make changes tonight. Those in line for a recall are striker Nicky Ajose and central defender Jack Baldwin.
Midfielder Jack Payne will hope he holds on to his place in the starting line-up for a game against his old club, while Gillingham should include former Posh player Charlie Lee. Another ex-Posh player Chris Whelpdale is injured.
Goalkeeper Bobby Olejnik will make his 100th Posh appearance. Midfielder Joe Newell serves the third and final game of his suspension.
“It will be good to see Charlie again,” Ferguson admitted. “I always keep an eye on how my old players are doing and Charlie is having a good career.
“He was an important part of a successful team here, He was enthusiastic and very flexible. I’ll shake his hand when I see him and then hope my teams beats his!
“In hindsight I wish I’d freshened the side up for the Wolves match, but I will freshen it up tonight.”
Posh fans are reminded that those who attended the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Final at Wembley can purchase tickets for just £5 per person for tonight’s game.
Fans just need to login at www.theposhtickets.com with the client reference number used to purchase or assign a ticket for Wembley and select the “Wembley Reward” price class*.
Supporters can also buy via the Ticketmaster hotline on 0844 847 1934 quoting their client reference number. If you are unsure of your client reference number, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and address.
Alternatively, fans can produce their Wembley ticket at the cash turnstiles on the night to receive the discount. However, supporters are advised to buy in advance to avoid possible queues.
Those fans who have already purchased full priced match tickets for the Gillingham match can obtain a refund for the difference at the Posh ticket office.
*Special Wembley Reward price excludes hospitality areas.
Young American goalkeeper Charlie Horton has left Posh by mutual consent. He spent time on loan at Kettering Town this season and is now free to join another club.
Follow @PTAlanSwann for Posh news and match action, tweet your comments using #PUFC