Date:Monday February 15 2010
Posh are given an immediate opportunity to bounce back, following the narrow defeat against Middlesbrough this weekend with a Tuesday night fixture against Ipswich Town, at London Road.
Jim Gannon will be keen to get back to winning ways after successive away defeats to Cardiff and Middlesbrough have made the task of escaping relegation look even bleaker, a fact Jim acknowledged in his post match interview, on Saturday, when he remarked,
"Staying up is a tough job and an almost impossible challenge."
"It would take something incredible but there are signs we`re getting better."
"Whether we stay up or go down I`m looking to bring us back some pride and to make us a better team. We got into some threatening positions but didn`t take our chances. Hopefully the results will come."
On Saturday, Gannon played Aaron Mclean as a lone striker, a tactic designed to flood the midfield and restrict Middlesbrough coming forward, it`s a tactic that we doubt he`ll persist with at home, especially against a side, like Ipswich, who`ve not fared much better than ourselves this season.
Managed by Roy Keane, the ex-Manchester United legend, the Suffolk club started the season poorly, unable to pick up a win. However, in recent matches there has been an upturn in form and Ipswich have started to haul themselves away from the relegation zone.
Since taking over the helm from Mark Cooper, Jim Gannon`s starting eleven`s have been very reminiscent of those that Darren Ferguson used to get us into the Championship, the only exceptions being that our record signing, Ryan Bennett, has naturally claimed one of the central defensive places and Tommy Rowe, a player Gannon knows well from his Stockport days, has been deployed in the middle.
The acquisitions made by Cooper - Geohaghan, Griffiths, McLeod, Simpson and Reid - have only been afforded bit parts and come Tuesday night that is the way we believe things will stay. With Gabriel Zakuani still on the injured list we doubt there`ll be many changes from the eleven that started at the Riverside Stadium, the only possible changes being somebody making way for the introduction of Craig Mackail-Smith to partner Mclean up front and somebody to replace Tom Williams who has joined Preston North End on loan until the end of the season!
So if Posh go into this one on the back of two straight defeats, how have Ipswich fared in their last three games? By some strange quirk of fate, in two of those three games Ipswich have faced opponents we`ve faced, Roy Keane has seen his side beat Queens Park Rangers (the only side Jim Gannon has seen Posh beat) and draw 1-1 with our opponents last Saturday, Middlesbrough. However, it should be pointed out that those results came at the opposite venues to ours.
In the third fixture, in another quirk of fate, Ipswich went down 2-0 at Preston North End, a club now managed by a certain Darren Ferguson. Overall, this season, Ipswich lie in 20th place in the Championship having accumulated 33 points from 29 games with a goal difference of -7.
So what about a prediction?
It`s hard to see Posh hammering any side at the moment but if we knuckle down we can get a crucial win, a win that will give us hope, although we suggest it could be as narrow as 2-1!
Date:Monday February 15 2010
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