As another football season comes closer to an end, the final position for Darren Ferguson and his men looks likely to be a positive one. I think it’s fair to say that finishing 21st would have been successful for The Posh this season as survival was the soul focus for the clubs second stint in the championship. However, we are currently sitting in 18th, nine points clear of the relegation zone and there are only seven games to go. The position we are currently in is a strong one, and the prospect of London Road hosting championship football yet again next season is one that excites me.
Nevertheless, before we get ahead of ourselves we should reflect upon what an encouraging season we have had. Firstly, only Southampton, West Ham, Birmingham, Blackpool and Ipswich have currently scored more championship goals than us, which really is something to boast about, especially after we sold the prolific Craig Mackail-Smith to Brighton.
In the January transfer window we also sold one of the most promising individuals to have played for Peterborough United as Ryan Bennett joined Norwich in what appears to be club record sale. The highly rated England Under-21 International has always been a consistent performer, he is extremely calm on the ball and deserves to play at the highest level. However, all credit to the squad as we proved that we can still compete in the championship without him as we picked up 3-1 wins against high flying Blackpool and Reading, with Shaun Brisley staking solid claims that he can fill the void left by the departed centre back.
Darren Ferguson’s new additions have also made a huge impact to the squad this season. I’m sure many Posh fans would have been extremely concerned after the departure of Mackail-Smith, as no big money striker came in at the start of the season. The main worry was if we continued to play free flowing attacking football, who would be the one putting the ball in the back of the net? Step up Paul Taylor, a free transfer who has hit the ground running and proved to be a more than suitable replacement for Mackail-Smith. He has scored more league goals this season than the former fan favourite has for Brighton and his skill and impeccably close ball control has been a joy to watch. Taylor takes as well as creates chances for the team and I can only hope that he remains a Peterborough United player next season as he will undoubtedly have obtained some admires over the course of this season.
Another encouraging sign is that Darragh MacAnthony looks to have reached into his pockets to sign the big money fans anticipated. Tyrone Barnett, currently a loan striker from Crawley should be the clubs record signing in the summer and he looks like a real talent. The target man has already scored four goals in seven starts and his link up play with Taylor has looked extremely promising, they are both real handfuls in different ways and they will be constant problems for championship defences.
I feel that with the balance of old and new we have enough depth in the current squad to see out the remainder of the season in a stable fashion, keeping our heads firmly above the relegation zone and playing championship football yet again next season. While we wait for survival to be a mathematical conclusion, we should take solace in the position we currently find ourselves in and continue to get behind the club, remembering that we would have all taken a finishing position of 21st in the table at the start of the season so any higher is a real bonus. As we continue to build as a club our expectations will evidently grow, however for the remainder of this season our focus should stay the same, and that is on survival.