In the build-up to the rearranged fixture at London Road, Jarred from The Yellow Block podcast runs the rule over yet another crunch encounter in the congested League One promotion charge.
Both teams are in a very different state to when we last met. What’s been behind Posh’s slide down the table over the last couple of months or so? Injuries have played a big part. We lost Leicester loanee Josh Knight from our midfield and we’ve missed him massively, along with a couple of others. Poor individual errors as well have led to us conceding soft goals which have cost us a lot of games.
It looks very much like Marcus Maddison is on his way to the Championship, be that to Charlton or elsewhere. How big a blow would his departure be and what do you make of the arrival of Sammie Szmodics, presumably seen as his replacement? I think it’s time Maddison moved on. He’s been absolutely superb on the pitch for us, but we’ve had him six years now. He’s earned his move and I hope he succeeds in the league above. He’s not the type of player you want at the club if he’s unhappy as it shows through. Szmodics is a great signing – albeit on loan – a like-for-like replacement for Maddison. We came close to signing him from Colchester in the summer before Bristol City blew us out of the water.
All things considered, how do you rate your chances of a play-off finish this season? What needs to happen in order for you to achieve that? We need to arrest the slide and quick. Newly arrived midfielders Jack Taylor (signed from Barnet for a National League record fee) and Reece Brown (on loan from Huddersfield) – as well as Szmodics – should improve us, while Knight returning to the side should see us start winning again. But with Sunderland and Pompey becoming contenders again, it’s going to be more difficult to get back up there. Anyone in the top half could do it.
Darren Ferguson is in his third spell in charge. On reflection, was it a bad move to bring him back and is patience wearing thin among the fans? He’s the man for the job in my opinion. He knows the club inside out. There is unrest amongst the fan base, but I know, having had two of the three on the podcast, that the Posh owners are huge fans of Ferguson, so I fully expect him to remain in charge. He’s the only manager in recent times to have any success with us as well – we’ve had lots of other managers and none of them have done it for us, so he needs to be given time to turn it around.
Finally, how do you see the game going? Feel free to make a score prediction! You’ve got back to winning ways on saturday just gone, now it’s our turn! 2-1 to the Posh!
Header image by Dan Clark