The Verdict: No time to feel sorry for ourselves after woeful display against Posh
We take a look at the talking points following Town’s horror show at the hands of Peterborough on Saturday.
There were a few little moments when I was sitting at Portman Road thinking that today is just not going to be our day. Firstly, when the team got announced on my down to Portman Road, my initial thought was a worried one. Peterborough are very quick box-to-box, turning defence into attack within a matter of seconds, opting for Cole Skuse was a concern. That’s no disrespect to the Town veteran, who has been a superb servant for Town over the years, but Skuse hasn’t started a game since the Boxing Day stalemate against Gillingham. Although he splits opinion, I would have picked Jon Nolan to replace the injured Emyr Huws, more legs in the middle of the park alongside Flynn Downes.
The other main turning point had to be the Luke Garbutt injury. Can you remember a left-back going off and having such an impact on the side? I can’t. The on-loan Everton man is pivotal for the way we play. So much of the build up goes through his left side. Not only did we lose Garbutt, but with his withdrawal, we also lost parts of Woolfenden and Judge’s game as they couldn’t rely on the quality of Myles Kenlock.
Handed on a plate
Peterborough are a good side, make no mistakes about that. Darren Ferguson has them playing in a way which is very easy on the eye, but dear oh dear, we didn’t half give them there goals.
James Wilson clearly fouled the much quicker Dembele for the Posh penalty, the only real question is why the linesman didn’t just flag in the first instance. We were flat footed and couldn’t deal with the speed and precision of the Posh build-up, 1-0. We were then thinking, let’s get to half-time and regroup, but five minutes before the break it was 2-0. Will Norris, howler.
The third goal was courtesy of a poor pass from Will Keane was pounced upon, and the dangerous Dembele slid in Szmodics for a easy finish, 3-0. The embarrassment got worse, a goal-kick was won by Peterborough, Toney winning the header, the second ball was won by Peterborough, Dembele out muscling Wilson, 4-0.
Looking ahead to our trip to the Stadium of Light next weekend, perhaps we could be looking at an alternative formation too. The extent of Luke Garbutt’s injury will dictate that, if the on-loan man is not fit, I really can’t see Myles Kenlock operating the wing-back role.
On the other side, Janoi Donacien could be handed a rare start with Gwion Edwards picking up his tenth booking of the season against Posh. Both Donacien and Kenlock could do jobs at full-back, but they need help. Don’t have them isolated and expect them to provide out width and attacking crosses, it won’t work!
Top eight misery continues
Paul Lambert doesn’t think it’s a worry but I do. Town have not beaten anyone in the top eight of League One so far this campaign. In the ten games we have played against our promotion rivals we have gathered six points. That is six points from a possible thirty, all draws, no wins in there either.
If we can’t beat our rivals then we can’t expect anyone else too. Is there a silver lining? Possibly. Nine of Town’s last 15 games are at Portman Road, if and it is a big IF, we can pick up points at home and dispatch the ‘lesser’ teams away from home which are on the horizon, we might just be okay.
With all the doom and gloom around after yesterday’s result, Town actually sit in fourth place in the standings. However, that could be a slightly false position as all of the teams below us in the league have at least one game in hand. Yes, you would rather points on the board, but in all reality when we’ve all played an equal amount of games it looks like we may fall short. We’ve now got 15 games to make sure that’s not the case come May.