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Away fan view: Posh must tighten up to mount a serious promotion challenge

Posh fan James Bloodworth from LondonRoad.net is pleased with Peterborough’s good start to the season, but believes Steve Evans’ men need to tighten up at the back to mount a serious challenge for promotion.

It’s been a great start for the Posh, currently sitting 2nd in the table. After such a busy summer, how pleased are you that the new players seemed to have gelled quickly?

I’m pleased, if a bit surprised. I think we signed 19 players this summer, and I still have to double check wikipedia to see who they are at times. I thought we’d have a sluggish start and pick up, but the opposite seems to be true; Posh traditionally start tremendously and have an autumnal slump. We need to avoid that, but it looks like it could be setting in.

Steve Evans isn’t everybody’s cup of tea but always seems to deliver results when backed in the transfer market. How is he doing in his first full season in charge?

I was incredibly anti-Evans upon his arrival.  I didn’t like his perceived style of play, his modus operandi of signing players rather than improving them on the training ground and the general unpleasantness he brings.

But if you can stomach that, Steve Evans teams are meant to be defensively solid and hard to beat. We aren’t. We’ve looked shaky at the back throughout this season and have had to ride our luck too many times.  3 of the back 4 and our goalkeeper are new signings, and to put it diplomatically, aren’t an improvement on what we let go.

We’ve conceded 19 goals this season; you have to look down to twelfth to find a team who’s let more in, in the form of… Scunthorpe United.  On the plus side, we are the top goalscorers in the league, but it’s not a sustainable model having to score 2 goals every match to get a point at least.

You were battered 4-0 against Barnsley last week. Will that serve as a reminder to the players to keep their feet firmly on the ground and could Scunthorpe be on the receiving end of a response this week?

I mean, I hope real life reflects your last sentence. However, I’ve been watching Posh for long enough to know it probably won’t. It was a pathetic performance last Saturday, and only served to highlight our weaknesses. We haven’t seen how Evans’ team responds to a pasting yet, and we may be pleasantly surprised.

You are leading the way in terms of goals scored, but have also conceded your fair share. What sort of side can we expect Scunthorpe to come up against on Saturday?

I touched on this in an earlier question (the moral of that story is to always read ahead) but I’ll go into a bit more detail about the side.

Expect long balls aplenty when you face us (I think we only played about 6 passes last week; they were all back to the keeper to launch forwards). It’s not pretty, but if Stuart McCall hasn’t done his homework, could be dangerous from your point of view. I can’t tell you what team we’ll put out, as Evans has played a 4-4-2, 4-2-3-1 and diamond in our last 3 matches, desperately trying to find a system to accommodate the talented wingers/attacking midfielders our squad has a curiously high number of.

Our obvious weak spots are at fullback; our right hand side scares me most in particular.  Jason Naismith was allegedly the best right back in Scotland last season, but that says more about the shortcomings of his contemporaries.  In my eyes, he’s been woeful, and Josh Morris vs Jason Naismith only has one winner.

Ivan Toney seems to have got off to a decent start following a big money move in the summer. What do you think to him?

I really like him. I thought we were getting a target man, but he’s come across as a good striker who just so happens to be tall, with another ex-Iron Matt Godden the typical target for long balls.

Toney struggled to get a start due to Godden and Jason Cummings’ early season form, but now the cracks have appeared he’s seized the opportunity to make the strikers’ position his own. He’s scored 3 important goals so far so already a popular figure.

Which other players should we look out for in the Posh side?

If Siriki Dembele plays, you’ll either think he’s destined for the Premier League, or will barely notice him. He’s inconsistent, but when he runs at you, he could well strike the fear of God into your defence.

Elsewhere, former Lincoln (*booooo*) midfielder Alex Woodyard covers every blade of grass, and after a slow start has begun to show his value to the side.  Jamie Walker is on loan from Wigan, having joined on the August 31st deadline day, and whilst displaying some neat touches and obvious class, Evans is having serious difficulties getting him into the eleven.

Have you got a score prediction?

You’ll probably beat us. We might snatch a draw though, which would be a good result in my eyes.

Written by Will Montag

Will Montag is an English Literature graduate of Manchester Metropolitan University. He is an avid reader of fiction, and a lifelong Iron fan. Will enjoys various outdoor pursuits in his spare time.

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