Dave Robertson will build an exciting team full of attacking players in a bid to win the League One title next season - if he is given the Peterborough United manager’s job on a permanent basis at the end of the current campaign.
Robertson made his pledge at a ‘question and answer’ session during the Posh open day at the ABAX Stadium today (April 12). About 100 Posh fans sauntered into the ‘Venue’ to throw questions at Robertson and his coaches Aaron Mclean, Grant McCann and someone who looked like David Bellamy, but who turned out to be current goalkeeping coach Ian Pledger.
Some of Robertson’s replies could well be repeated when he is interviewed by Posh chairman Darragh MacAnthony in May. He waxed lyrical about exciting youth team players like Harry Anderson, Jack Friend and Jonathan Edwards before pledging to restore goals and fun to the Posh menu - all would be music to his chairman’s ears.
Robertson, who neatly side-stepped a question about whether or not he would be happy to return to his role as Academy director should MacAnthony instead appoint Jose Mourinho or even Nigel Adkins, said: “I’m concentrating on the job I have at the moment and that is to deliver four wins and some exciting football between now and the end of the season.
“If I do get the job in May then my aim will be to try and win League One. I would try and bring some high quality players to the club and they would play in an exciting, entertaining way as has been the recent Peterborough tradition.
“Scoring has been a problem for us lately, but we have been trying to develop a system that will change that. The way we have played in the last two games has allowed us to get more attacking players onto the pitch and I am convinced that some team will get a drubbing from us soon.”
Tuesday’s (April 17) home match against relegation-haunted Crewe appears to present the perfect opportunity as the ‘Railwaymen’ have conceded more goals than any other team in League One this season. Given that Posh haven’t scored a goal for close to 450 minutes it’s a case of the movable object against the resistible force.
Robertson, who made it sound like the club’s three loan players won’t see much action, naturally dominated the 45-minute sitting. He was clearly popular with those who turned up. A statement from one fan that he hoped Robertson would get the manager’s job full-time was greeted with applause and no-one sniggered when he suggested that a stack of goals from his strikers was around the corner.
McCann revealed that he is far more interested in coaching than playing and that he only left Posh because of ‘circumstances that I don’t want to go into now’. The most popular translation was a falling out with then manager Darren Ferguson which is pretty much confirmed by McCann’s return within seconds of Fergie’s departure.
Mclean stated that he thinks he can still play successfully at League One level and that his own position at Posh is complicated by a playing contract with Bradford City that doesn’t expire until the end of the 2015-16 season. He also claimed that Posh have scored more long-range goals than any other team in League One, which is just as well really as the players often fall apart in the penalty area.
Pledger disclosed that he used to play with Robbo ‘in the days when he could run’ and that when the club’s 18 year-old Slovakian goalkeeper Henrich Ravas discovered he was to get a contract at Posh he started playing for the club on FIFA just so he could learn the players’ names and positions.
Nothing partucularly revelatory then, although interjections from the club’s marketing guru Neil Gilby explained why it’s hard to get the attendances up at the ABAX Stadium.
Gilby revealed that 30,000 individual ticket offers have made through every primary school in the county, but that the take-up is often disappointing - 400 out of 1,500 was one recent example offered and the club can lose money on such deals because of extra police and stewarding costs.
Oh and the panel revealed that they thought the Posh fans had been great which is always a sensible thing to point out a fans’ forum. Robertson hoped out loud that the atmopshere they create at away games - 285 of them were outstanding again despite defeat at Swindon yesterday (April 11) - could become common at home games.
There is of course one obvious way to make that happen.