Blades v Posh Preview!
If Mark Cooper had of been able to select his first game in charge of Peterborough United I guess this wouldn`t have been too high on the agenda.
In reality he`d have probably gone for a home fixture, a chance to immediately endear himself to a Posh public who remain sceptical that he is actually the man for the job after never having managed in the Football League before.
Nevertheless, Darragh MacAnthony has made his decision and it is up to us, the supporters, to get behind the team and try to do our bit to push Posh up the table, off the bottom and away from the relegation places.
On reflection Bramall Lane may not be too bad a place to go, Sheffield United, who fell off the Premier league pedestal in acrimonious circumstances what with the Carlos Tevez affair at West Ham, are in a poor run of form.
Kevin Blackwell hasn`t seen his side kick off their Championship campaign as he`d have liked, a recent string of results have seen them lose to Newcastle (1-0), lose to Cardiff (4-3) and scrape a draw against Barnsley (2-2). So a result for posh, up in Yorkshire, is a viable proposition we think.
However, the sixty-four thousand dollar question relates to which starting eleven Mark Cooper will select. The ex-Kettering man has been in charge of Posh for under a week but having watched the videos from the fixtures this season will have, undoubtedly, formed an opinion on most of our playing staff.
But, in the build up to the fixture he`s given no real clues, merely commenting,
'Those who have done well in the past will have to prove themselves again, whilst everyone else has a great opportunity to push their case."
'If nothing else it will breed plenty of hunger within the squad and people will be fighting for their places.'
So does Mark perceive we were lacking in fighting spirit, that a complacent attitude had set into the Posh dressing room?
From within the squad our international goalkeeper, Joe Lewis, has been quick to grasp the mettle when it comes to what is required, being quoted as having said,
"Darren's gone now and we've got a job to do so we have to forget about the past week."
'Things change in football and it's the ones who adapt the quickest who survive the longest.'
Will the squad adapt up at Bramall Lane, will Mark Cooper get the result he desires? I have a suspicion it`ll end all square. Previously Cooper has preached about getting things defensively right, here at Vital Posh we believe he`ll be looking to restrict Sheffield United to a minimum number of chances and perhaps hope to sneak something on the counter-attack.
With George Boyd, Craig Mackail-Smith and Aaron Mclean at his disposal he certainly has the ammunition to do something along those lines. Whether Posh can keep a clean sheet, whether that those defensive lapses that eventually cost Darren Ferguson so dearly can be eliminated is another matter.
Therefore, I believe this one has got 1-1 written all over it!
Anyone care to disagree?