He gives us his views on Peterborough's season so far, Graham Westley, Adil Nabi,
and more. You can follow Alex on twitter
been just over six years since the two clubs last met, can you give us a quick
run-down of Peterborough's fortunes during that time?
Last time the clubs met it was
the feared Mac-attack that was gracing the Hawthorns turf as an in-form Posh
form took on the baggies in January 2009 for another FA cup fourth round tie. It
was a season to remember as the Posh ran on to finish runners up to Leicester in
League One before stepping into the Championship.
The step however proved too big
for Posh and the 2009/2010 was one of the worst during the Darragh MacAnthony
years. Posh never got going from the start and were quickly cut adrift of
safety. The disappointing campaign included the sacking of Darren Ferguson and
the appointment of Mark Cooper, who lasted just 13 games before being replaced
by Jim Gannon who took charge of the already sunken ship. Posh finished bottom
of the pile and 15 points adrift.
The Posh rollercoaster however
never stops, 2010-2011 was my greatest season to remember. A brave decision by
MacAnthony to sack Gary Johnson and reinstate Ferguson paid off as he, with the
help of some magic by Grant McCann and co, guided us into the playoff places
where we saw off MK Dons and hammered
Huddersfield 3-0 in the playoff final at Old Trafford. – My best Posh
The 2011-12 season was one of
surprising stability as Posh adapted to life in England’s second tier and
finished a comfortable 10 points above the drop. Normal service was resumed
however in the following 2012-13 campaign, despite having a dreadful start to
the season, it took a late Jedinak header to send posh down at Crystal Palace on
the final day of the season. – A memory that still haunts me.
Since then it has been a battle
with League One and despite losing out to Leyton Orient in the playoff
semi-finals in 2014 Posh have never reached the glorious heights of the previous
years. Last season saw Posh dance at the wrong end of the table and an
embarrassing 3-0 defeat to MK Dons signalled the rightful end to a successful
spell under Fergie.
Academy coach Dave Robertson was
appointed to guide the Posh ship out of trouble and he did just that with an
impressive winning run. But after a summer to build his side Posh were truly
awful for the first part of this season and Robertson was thankfully shown the
door and replaced by Graham Westley. So far this campaign it’s been a good run
since his appointment, a nice brand of football has returned to a young side but
with a few poor results against top sides in recent weeks, Westley now has his
work cut out to restore confidence back to his side.
currently just outside the League One play-offs, how would you rate the season
so far? Better or worse than expected?
Currently the season is going
just as I expected, I predicted a 10th place finish and I would still expect
that now. Westley has surprised me with the quality he has brought out our young
side and we have had a good run but I still feel we lack the quality and edge to
get promotion to the Championship.
Peterborough manager Graham Westley is perhaps a little unknown to the casual
fan, tell us a bit about him, how do his teams play?
Westley arrived with a general
perception of playing a hoof ball and physical brand of football after his time
at Preston and Stevenage but since his arrival to Posh it would be hard to
criticise him, he has brought attacking football and confidence to the team. He
regularly interacts with fans at games and speaks plenty of sense in his
interviews so I think he could have a good future at the ABAX.
through your squad, strengths? weaknesses?
The key word that sums up our
squad is youth, the Posh business model will always consist of having a squad
full of young players with the hope they can be the next cash cow for the Posh,
which is not a bad thing. However it does indicate that when we hit a few bad
results we can lack confidence and leadership to get us out of a hole. The
strongest area of our squad is going forward, although we currently lack a
consistent goal scorer since Conor
departure, creative midfielders Erhun Oztumer and Marcus Maddison offer the
biggest threat. Defence is our weakest area at the moment with both experienced
centre backs Michael Bostwick and Gabriel Zakuani side-lined. Ricardo Santos has
been filling in the role and he has looked shaky on some occasions this season.
Posh player for Albion to watch
Erhun Oztumer, a little wizard
on his day but the game can sometimes pass him by.
important is the game for Peterborough? How much interest in the game is there
from Posh fans?
It is all about the day out for
me, some fans marvel at the FA cup but personally I would rather get three
points at Chesterfield next weekend. However the draw could have been worse, a
short train journey away with a few beers in Birmingham on route has proven to
be a big attraction for Posh fans who will pack out the away end and enjoy the
day whatever the score. A replay would be nice though and I think that would
give us every chance of progressing.
Thoughts on Albion? Any
of our players you rate?
My thoughts on Albion are (I
don’t claim to watch you very closely) a bang average Premier League side, with
Pulis at the helm I think you will be safe for this season and a few more to
come but I don’t see you setting foot inside the top 10 anytime soon. I rate
Sessegnon as a player, someone who I feel can add a bit of creativity to any
side and Berahino could run rings round our defence on Saturday if he features.
recently signed young forward Adil Nabi from the Baggies, how do you see him
being utilised? One for the future?
He is a player that like most
Posh fans no little about (like most of our signings) but we learn to trust our
chairman and hopefully Nabi can turn out to be one of the good ones. From what I
have read he seems like a creative midfielder but I am sure all will be revealed
in the coming weeks.
are Peterborough likely to line up on Saturday?
It’s difficult to call after
such a poor performance against
on Tuesday and I anticipate a few changes.
Smith, Baldwin, Bostwick (if fit), Wilson
Forrester, Beautyman, Oztumer,
the game and prediction?
I think it will be a close game
with not too many goals, I am going to go for a repeat of the same score line as
last time: 1-1 and we will win the replay! (optimistic admittedly)