The best win of Robbo’s brief reign

Posh goalkeeper Ben Alnwick tips this Chesterfield attempt over the crossbar. Photo: Joe Dent/
Posh goalkeeper Ben Alnwick tips this Chesterfield attempt over the crossbar. Photo: Joe Dent/
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Manager Dave Robertson insisted today’s (March 21) 1-0 League One win over Chesterfield at the ABAX Stadium was the best in Peterborough United’s golden run of results,

Posh have now won five out six matches under the management of Robertson and Michael Bostwick’s 26th minute goal was enough for a spot in the League One play-off places.

The win came at a cost though as central defender Ricardo Santos was sent off with 30 minutes to go after collecting two cautions for tripping offences that occurred just three minutes apart.

Naturally Chesterfield enjoyed plenty of possession in the final stages, but they could find no way through a defence superbly led by Gaby Zakuani. And when they did Posh goalkeeper Ben Alnwick was again in outstanding form.

Posh have now won all three matches at the ABAX Stadium under Robertson without conceding a goal.

“That’s the best win we’ve had,” Robertson enthused. “All credit to my players who found adrenaline, desire and commitment above the call of duty to dig out a result against an excellent Chesterfield side.

“Chesterfield are the best footballing side we’ve faced. I have a lot of time and respect for their ability and for the way they play the game so for us to come out on top despite playing with 10 men for the last half-an-hour is an outstandimng achievement.

“We challenged the players three weeks ago to make the ABAX a fortress and they have done just that.

“To be honest I’d like to start seeing us play with more flair and flamboyance, but when we went down to 10 men today that wasn’t an option.

“We still kept two strikers on though because it was important that we carried an attacking threat. One of the worst things you can do when you lose a player is to play one-up as it can just become a case of defending wave after wave of attacks.

“We knew that if Chesterfield went long, Gaby, Shaun Brisley (a substitute employed as soon as Santos was dismissed) and Kgosi Ntlhe would deal with the aerial threat and Ben Alnwick’s performance was again unbelievable.

“We came up with a good plan for the final 30 minutes, but we wouldn’t have been able to carry it out without the resilience of the players.

“I blame myself for Ricardo’s red card because I want him to make strong challenges. He mis-timed a couple today. but I won’t let him change his approach.

“We didn’t get started for the first 25 minutes today, but once we got a foothold in the game we caused them problems. It wasn’t a pretty performance and I apologise for that,

“We decided to try and use the space their right-back was leaving when he went upfield and it worked a treat. The goal came from there thanks to Comnor Washington’s run and Luke James almost scored again within minutes.

“All in all it’s a great three points against a very good side, but the fact that we are now in the top six is irrelevant.

“We will prepare for the next game in just the same way. All we can do is take care of our own business.

“One of the most pleasing things for me is that our fans are enjoying it. They were magnificent again today. They weren’t the 12th man, but rather the 11th man helping to get 10 men over the line.”

Posh are next in League One action when Coventry City visit the ABAX on Saturday (March 28) and Robertson will be without his two first-choice centre-backs.

Santos will serve a one-match suspension, while Zakuani will be on international duty for DR Congo who are playing Iraq in a friendly in Dubai. Their absence will not persuade Robertson to make loan signings ahaead of next Thursday’s (March 28) transfer deadline.

“Christian Burgess and Shaun Brisley are both good players who will be raring to go next week,” Robertson added.