15th October, 2011
Posh take on a team at the bottom of the Championship table for the second game running when they travel to Ashton Gate to face Bristol City.
Posh will certainly be looking to come away with a better result following their shock 2-1 defeat at the hands of previous bottom club Doncaster Rovers.
City are currently without a manager following a string of poor results which saw them drop to the bottom of the Championship and culminated in Keith Millen`s dismissal following their 5-0 defeat by Blackpool.
Steve Wigley has taken temporary charge of the team until a new manager is found. City have had over 60 applications for the job and have so far interviewed 5 candidates. Rumours circulating that Mark Robins is due to be installed as the next City boss although former Cardiff manager Dave Jones is a favourite among the fans. However, St Johnstone have granted permission to Bristol City to interview their manager Derek McInnes!
Posh will be without both boss Darren Ferguson and assistant Kevin Russell on the bench as they have both this week been given a touchline ban following an incident in their last match. However, the last time Bristol City played against a team that had a manager serving a touchline ban was in their last match.
Blackpool boss Ian Holloway was serving a touchline ban when City visited Bloomfield Road two weeks ago. He watched his side from the directors` box as they put 5 goals past Bristol.
Fergie is no stranger to watching his side from the directors box. Ferguson said: "It`s no big deal. I was sent off at Bristol once before so I know the view from the directors` box is very good there!"
Steve Wigley does not fear taking charge of the team that takes on Peterborough United at Ashton Gate this weekend. Wigley took over training duties with the team while the search for a new manager continues, but he has done this type of thing before: "I've done it at Southampton and Bolton so it's something I've done before. I've got experience of it and I've been in the game quite a long time now so it's not daunting in the least," Wigley told Bristol City Player. "I've started to think about what route I'd go down. I'll let you know about that later in the week if I have to pick a team. I'm certainly not going to lose sleep if I don't have to."
"I`ve watched three dvds of them [Peterborough] in action," Wigley revealed. "They`ve won when they perhaps didn`t play well, but how on earth they didn`t beat Doncaster in their last match is beyond me.
"What is obvious though is that they pass the ball really well and that they look very confident in the way they play. It will definitely be a tough game for us.
"But it`s not about what Peterborough do, it`s about what we do. We need to get on the front foot from the start and stay there.
"We`re all smarting from our last result and the fact that it cost a good man his job.
"Everyone at the club would have loved to have had another game sooner, but Peterborough are here tomorrow and we need to deliver a positive, passionate performance to give our fans something to cheer about."
"I keep saying there are no easy games in this division and we are playing a good team with good players tomorrow even though they are bottom of the league." said Ferguson speaking to the Peterborough Evening Telegraph.
"But they must be lacking in confidence and that is something we will talk about before the game. We can`t let their problems influence the way we go about the match.
"They don`t have a full-time manager, but caretaker Steve Wigley will have them organised and motivated so we will have to go there with the right attitude.
"I`m sure we will though. The lads have looked very sharp in training."
On reflecting on the previous game, Fergie admitted "That was a result we wanted to get out of our system, but we were over it after a couple of days and to be honest the break looks like it`s done us all the world of good,
"The players that needed a rest have had one and players with injuries have seen them clear up. We`ve looked sharp in training and we`re raring to go."
New loan signing Tom Kennedy believes it will be a tough game.
"They [City] will be hurting about being bottom of the table and because they lost their last game heavily. The fact that they don`t have a manager won`t help us either.
"We will have to be on our guard for sure, but if we play our game we can get a result.
Darren Ferguson revealed that he would have signed Kennedy at the start of the season if Kennedy had recovered from his knee ligament injury he sustained while on loan at Posh at the end of last season.
Ferguson admitted "There`s no doubt about that, Tom would have been here in August if he`d been fit. I like him a lot a he gives us good balance and a quality left foot.
"His job now is to get Craig Alcock out of the side, but that won`t be easy. Both of our full-backs are playing very well at the moment."
The big question for City is who to start in between the sticks. Former England goalkeeper David James has been the main shot-stopper but was replaced by Dean Gerken in City`s last match. Having shipped 5 goals, James may be recalled to the starting line-up in Gerken's place.
Up front, City have the dangerous Nicky Maynard and Brett Pittman. Posh will have to pay particular attention to Pittman as he bagged himself a hat-trick the last time he played against Posh while playing for Bournemouth last season.
City surprisingly held on to star striker Maynard in the summer, but he has yet to light the fuse this season.
He still has the potential to cause damage to opposition defences so Posh will need to be at their best to keep the City strikers quiet.
Forward Lee Tomlin is in with a chance of returning to the squad following the injury he picked up at West Ham.
Posh also expect a near-fit Gaby Zakuani who has nearly recovered fully from his broken toe. Ferguson said: "Gaby had an x-ray this week which confirmed that the break has healed. He will probably still have a pain-killing injection because he will still be sore, but he`s not far now from being completely injury-free which is great news."
Captain Grant McCann will also play tomorrow after recovering from the groin strain that forced him out of Northern Ireland`s second international match this week in which Northern Ireland lost to Italy on Tuesday.
Newly capped England Under-21 defender Ryan Bennett returned to Posh in good health following a commanding performance for his country in their 2-1 win away at Norway.
Captain McCann is the lynch-pin of the team and often dictates the play.
Added to his goal threat and dangerous corners and free-kicks, McCann is a vital player for Posh.
The West Country club have won just once in their opening ten fixtures and have found life in the Championship extremely tough going this campaign. A paltry eight goals scored and a leaky defence tells its own story.
Peterborough on the other hand have looked comfortable since being promoted from League One, and sit in a healthy 13th place. This could easily have been much higher had they taken their chances in various games which resulted in them dropping vital points.
The last time Posh visited Ashton Gate, they came away with a 1-1 draw following a 90th minute goal from George Boyd.
If Posh can continue where they left off against Doncaster, I have no worries about them coming away with all 3 points.
They will need to be on their guard against City`s dangerous forward line of Maynard and Pittman but if the back four can keep them quiet, it should result in a happy trip back home after the match.
Bristol City 1 - 3 Posh
Tuesday 18th October, 2011
19:45 Peterborough United v Cardiff
20:00 Crystal Palace v Bristol City
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