Peterborough boss Darren Ferguson demands reaction from players at Portsmouth following ‘indefensible’ Walsall defeat
Darren Ferguson is demanding a reaction from his Peterborough players when they take on Pompey at Fratton Park tonight.
Like the automatic promotion-chasing Blues, the visitors go into the game with much riding on the result.
Currently sitting seventh in the League One table – one place and four points behind Doncaster – a win would boost their hopes of finishing in the play-off places.
However, they would then need results to go their way on Saturday, when the regular season comes to an end.
Peterborough are at home to Burton at the weekend, while Rovers host Coventry.
Yet the Posh go into tonight’s fixture following a 3-0 defeat at relegation-threatened Walsall which Ferguson described as ‘indefensible’.
That handed the initiative back to Doncaster in the race for that final play-off spot.
And the Peterborough manager is in no mood to accept another performance of that level at Pompey with so much at stake.
Ferguson told the Peterborough Telegraph: ‘There can be no more excuses.
‘I fully expect a performance more fitting of one of my teams and if we don’t win the game I want us to be able to say we gave everything for 90 minutes, that we left nothing behind.
‘I hate criticising my players in public, but the performance at Walsall was indefensible.
‘We’ve drawn a line under it now after a meeting with the players and now we have to find a way to win at Portsmouth.
‘We’re capable of winning, but we obviously have to improve hugely on what we delivered at the weekend.
‘We still have a chance of going up and for some players this might be the only chance they have of getting to the Championship so I expect a reaction to Saturday.
‘We’ve taken the season into the final week which hasn’t happened at this club in recent times and now we want to take it into the final day.
‘Doncaster gained a big advantage at the weekend, but if we win (at Fratton Park) the pressure reverts back to them.
‘We need to return to the level we showed against Sunderland and for the four games before that one.
‘If we do that we have a good chance.’
Peterborough drew 1-1 with Sunderland on Easter Monday to contribute to their automatic promotion frustrations.
That game attracted a near full house at London Road.
And Ferguson believes another big crowd at Fratton Park will act as motivation for his players.
He added: ‘There will be a great atmosphere with 20,000 in the ground and a big crowd should act as extra motivation as it did for the Sunderland game.
‘It’s the last chance for both clubs to achieve what they want to achieve after 46 games.
‘If we don’t win we won’t be in the play-offs and if Portsmouth don’t win they won’t finish in the automatic promotion places.’