Tumultuous season in limbo after three more losses for Peterborough United
- Credit: Joe Dent/JMP
It's been another eventful week down at London Road – and not for the right reasons.
Tuesday night's abject defeat to Bristol City saw manager Darren Ferguson and owner Darragh MacAnthony turn their fire on the club's under-performing squad.
And who can blame them after the team plunged to its third defeat in four games, leaving us 10 points behind fifth-placed Rotherham and seeing our place in the play-offs put under severe threat?
The first-half performance against Bristol City was as bad as it's been in what has become a tumultuous season and yet we could still emerge with the Johnstone's Paint Trophy and promotion to the Championship!
It's for this reason that this season has been one of the strangest in recent years at Posh. On the one hand, we've got a trip to Wembley at the end of the month and are still involved in a battle for promotion.
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On the flip side, however, Posh have fallen well below the standards everyone expects them to meet and it appears a lot of fans are voting with their feet when you look at the poor attendances in recent games.
It's ironic that Posh have already broken through the 15,000 barrier for ticket sales for the Johnstone's Paint Trophy final on March 30 and yet just over 4,000 attended Tuesday night's match.
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Of course a Wembley final will attract a wider support, but MacAnthony has understandably spoken of his concerns at the dwindling crowds. You can feel his frustration when, on Twitter, he released a statement talking about the successes of the last seven years, but then adding: 'However, to see many of our fans desert us through a few ropey months is disheartening to me personally as it's something I've never thought about doing to the club.'
As a season ticket holder, it also frustrates me to see such low crowds following the Posh as a growing fan base is the key to us becoming regular performers in the Championship.
However, it's hard not to have some sympathy with fans when they are asked to part with their hard-earned cash, but the team is not meeting its potential on the pitch. Indeed, following Tuesday's defeat, manager Darren Ferguson said: 'If I was a fan I'd be so angry.'
More worryingly, Ferguson (pictured) also stated: 'It was an unprofessional approach to the game and during it we lacked character.'
I've said it before and I'll say it again – fair-minded fans don't mind if their team is beaten by better opponents, but our anger is soon stoked up if our side doesn't show character and commitment.
I think we just have to face facts that, this season, Posh just aren't consistently good enough to deserve promotion to the Championship at the first time of asking. If we do, it'll be through the back door, but to have lost 14 games already suggests we're not ready for promotion.
At the end of Tuesday's game, Bristol City fans were singing: 'We are staying up.' Don't forget, they were relegated with us last year and have spent a lot of this season in the bottom four.
The point I'm making is that it could have been a lot worse for Posh this season.
Of course, I'd love to be proved wrong about Posh's prospects, but in the meantime I appeal to the Posh players, management and fans to play their part in salvaging something from a difficult season.
Up the Posh!