Posh v Pompey - The Managers Viewpoint
What did Darren Ferguson and Michael Appleton think about Saturdays match?
After last weeks disappointing defeat at home to Brighton, the Posh faithful were told by Posh boss Darren Ferguson that everyone was up for this latest game against Portsmouth. Even skipper Grant McCann said the players were looking to make amends for the display against Brighton.
It begs the question "What happened?"
"I want passing football with good movement and for most of the season the players have delivered. It`s how I believe the game should be played and that won`t be changing." Fergie insisted.
"We have more than one system we can play, but the style of football will remain the same. Teams have come up with ways to stop us and it`s my job to come up with something which can help us break them down.
"We worked hard on things before this game. We put two strikers wide at one point to isolate them against full-backs, but we didn`t get the ball to them quickly enough.
"When we did in good positions out wide, the quality of our crosses, particularly from our full-backs, was poor.
"We lacked composure as well, but for me the timing of their goals had a big effect on the outcome.
"Portsmouth have had problems off the field again this week and although that can bring players closer together, we felt a good, quick start would have put them under pressure.
"We wanted to start the game on the front foot, but instead we conceded a poor goal early on and then another just before the break.
"They were big confidence boosts for them and in all fairness they saw the game out comfortably in the second half.
"We had enough possession, but we couldn`t find a way though. It`s not through a lack of effort and we will be back on track soon. I`m sure of that."
Both before and during the game, certain Posh players received pathetic booing from sections of the home "support". So much for getting behind your team!! These so called "fans" should take a leaf out of Pompey`s books and back your team to the hilt.
Fergie wants the fans behind him and his team at this crucial stage of the season: "Look, the chairman, the management, the players and the fans quite rightly shared the good times last season.
"But if anything we need the fans more now that things have become a bit sticky for us. We are in the worst run of the season results-wise and performance-wise, but we will get out of it together,
"The season can go one of two ways from here. We can just put our hands up and say this division is too tough for us or we can get our heads down and prove that we belong here by fighting and scrapping hard in every remaining game.
"I already know which way we will go. Me and the players had a really good chat after the game and we will stay positive and we will stay confident.
"This is a time for everyone to stick together and that`s exactly what we will do. I am not concerned about relegation because I know what I have in that dressing room. People are beginning to doubt us, but I`m not.
"We have some hard games coming up. Burnley and Cardiff will be tough away games, while West Ham will obviously be a hard one, but playing these teams is exactly why we wanted to get into this division.
"We knew it would be a hard league, but we are bang on course for our 50-point target.
"It was a disappointing result and performance on Saturday, but maybe playing away from home next week will help us relax a bit more."
With the uncertainty surrounding the future of Pompey, manager Michael Appleton and the players certainly didn`t have any of the off-field problems on their mind when deservedly beating a poor Posh side.
Boss Appleton said about the build up to the game: "With all the prep that has gone into the week and with all the rubbish that has gone on off the field, a result like that just makes it worthwhile.
"I was trying to get it across to the players that Saturday was a little bit more than just three points. I know if you win a game you can only get three points out of it but there were so many factors to it.
"There was stuff that was going on off the field, having to deal with the pressure of coming away from home, knowing that if you win the game you go above the opposition in the table and knowing the fact if you do win the game you get 10 points clear of the team third from bottom of the table in Nottingham Forest.
"This was our game in hand and it was almost a perfect away performance.
"I don`t want to create an excuse culture here. I have told the players I will deal with the stuff going on off the field as best as I possibly can. I will give them enough information as I think they need and should have.
"From their point of view, they get paid to come in every day, work their socks off, prepare for games and obviously try to win games of football.
"They have done that to the best of their ability this week and got their reward for it from a great performance.
"You take the three goals and a clean sheet out of it and I was delighted with the way we kept our shape.
"I didn`t think they got in behind us that often, in fact I can`t think of too many occasions.
"Pretty much everything was in front of us, we defended well, kept our compactness and hit them time and time again.
"We can`t really control what happens off the field, we just want to get more performances and more results like this."
Pompey did their homework on Posh and it worked a treat for them as they picked up just their second away win of the season. I think Darren Ferguson should take note of Appleton`s comments about stopping the Posh attacking threat!!
Boss Michael Appleton said: "I watched videos of the last three Peterborough home games and took notice of what other teams have done to stop their attacking threat.
"We added a bit ourselves and I have to say the players carried the plan out to perfection. We knew Peterborough would try and play through us and we set ourselves up to stop that happening.
"And we did it so well I could only see them scoring from a 30-yarder. I can`t remember them getting behind us all game which was pleasing.
"We broke well when we had the ball as well which was encouraging. The early goal helped us to settle down and a second just before half-time was a real boost.
"We`ve achieved all of our targets. We wanted to win as we knew that would take us above Peterborough and we wanted a clean sheet.
"We played very well, especially with the rubbish going on off the field at the moment. We played Erik [Huseklepp] in a different role today and he scored two goals. We need him to do that more often. He`s got the capability."
The Pompey fans were excellent on Saturday and were easily the best support seen at London Road this season. Appleton was also full of praise: "Some didn`t arrive at London Road until half-time after their train to Peterborough was delayed. Yet their performance was just as impressive as the side they roared on for 90 minutes.
He continued: "That is what to come to expect when you come to work for this football club. We have fantastic fans who trawl up and down the country week in, week out.
"That is the message we have been trying to get across about getting bodies into the ground at Fratton Park. Not only will they help to raise the atmosphere at the game and help us get three points, more importantly at the minute it can help club together a few extra quid in our current climate."
UP THE POSH
Follow me on Twitter: @mwl1967
Photos courtesy of www.theposhpics.com
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