Date:Friday September 18 2009
The big question remains whether Posh can get rid of that one record we all cringe over. Can we win our first game of the Championship season? With struggling Reading the visitors, confidence is high that Saturday will see that millstone around dour necks finally lifted.
Ahead of our vital fixture with Reading, Darren Ferguson has bravely stepped forward and implied that maybe, just maybe, he put too much pressure on the side with his expectations of reaching the play-offs when he remarked to the local media,
'We have come a hell of a long way in little over two years, but I accept that at the moment we are not doing well enough."
'The football side of the club is 100 per-cent my responsibility. Not the players', not the staff's, but mine and perhaps I have made a couple of mistakes by saying a bit too much publicly."
'I had a long, hard think after the game at Leicester on Tuesday. I've looked at myself as well and the way I have managed the expectations here."
'Maybe I shouldn't have said that the play-offs were the target. It is not that I don't believe we are capable of getting there, but I perhaps should have kept our aims for the season in-house."
'I could have put a bit too much pressure on the players by saying those things. If it comes down to my inexperience as a manager, I hold my hands up."
It takes a brave man to hold his hands up does it not?
After finally coming back from injury and starting in two successive games, Chris Whelpdale faces a decision about whether he`ll start at London Road this Saturday. After picking up a head injury at Leicester, on Tuesday evening, we`d hope he`ll have recovered sufficiently to start. However, we have no doubts that after two tough away draws Darren Ferguson will be keen to keep the momentum going and we don`t envisage any changes to the starting eleven which could well be:-
Lewis, Martin, Morgan, Zakuani, Williams, Whelpdale, Diagouraga, Frecklington, Boyd, Mclean and Mackail-Smith.
If Whelpdale doesn`t make it we expect Batt to start.
Craig will be hoping that he can get back onto the score sheet, especially after seeing his latest effort, the goal at Loftus Road ruled out for offside.
Reading, under the stewardship of the highly respected Brendan Rodgers, arrive at London Road with a squad that is barely recognizable form that which did the club so proud when they were riding high in the Premier League. With Steve Coppell now history, Rodgers will be keen to reverse the trend that has seen his side struggle in recent weeks. However, he will have to do without Chris Armstrong and Jobi McAnuff who remain sidelined through injury.
Rodgers had this lad under his tutorship whilst coaching Chelsea reserves and acted swiftly to bring him to Reading. Let`s see how he copes with our silky, tricky forwards shall we.
Previous fixtures between the two sides, the last of which was eight seasons ago, see the results fairly evenly split.. Posh have 14 wins to their credit, Reading have 15 wins whilst 14 games have been drawn.
This run of ours whereby we haven`t won a Championship game yet just has to come to an end soon, otherwise those relegation vultures will be hovering over London Road. Reading arrive as a side who have only scored four times all season, ripe for the taking possibly? I`ll be brave, I`ll be bold and I`ll go for a narrow Posh win, possibly 1-0!
Our next fixture sees a return to Carling Cup action with the visit of Newcastle United in midweek.
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Date:Friday September 18 2009
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