FERGIE TARGETS PERFECT FINISH
DERBY CO........3 PETERBORO’....1
DARREN Ferguson believes Peterborough will have to take maximum points from their remaining two games of the season to maintain their Championship status for another year.
Ferguson’s men saw their ten-match unbeaten run come to a grinding halt after they were blown away by ten-man Derby and now sit above the bottom three only on goal difference.
Craig Bryson gave the Rams a deserved lead before Chris Martin and Richard Keogh wrapped up the points early in the second half.
Grant McCann pulled one back from the spot after keeper Frank Fielding had seen red for bringing down Dwight Gayle in the box but Ferguson admitted his side had been soundly beaten.
“We can have no complaints about the results because Derby were absolutely superb and deserved the win,” said Ferguson.
“But I can’t criticise the players because they have been fantastic recently and it’s in our own hands still. There’s no doubt that if we play like we did here then we are down. But we have two massive games now and we could need two wins.
“We’ve got Sheffield Wednesday next and I can’t emphasise enough how important that game is for us now.
“After the start to the season that we had, to say we still have a chance of staying up is a magnificent achievement because we really struggled.
“The best thing about today is that we are not in the bottom three. Nothing else has been positive.”
The chances of Posh extended their impressive unbeaten run looked remote early on. Paul Coutts rattled the post inside the first two minutes for Derby while Jeff Hendrick fired narrowly wide.
Derby’s dominance was highlighted by the 15 corners they had in the first half but it was from open play that they finally prised Peterborough open. Conor Sammon cut the ball back from the byline and Bryson could hardly miss from inside the six yard box.
It was no more than Nigel Clough’s men deserved and they wrapped up the points with two goals in the space of three minutes early in the second half.
Martin turned and fired home from the edge of the box on 50 minutes before Keogh rose highest to head home a Jamie Ward corner.
Peterborough pulled one back from the spot through McCann after Fielding had been sent for an early bath for fouling Gayle inside the box.
It prompted a few nervy moments in the Derby defence and if Lee Tomlin had finished a decent chance with 20 minutes remaining, the result could have been back in the balance.
Rams coach Andy Garner said: “We can have no complaints about the red card. I think Frank’s starting position was poor and the referee got the decision spot on.
“We were comfortable up until that point. I think Paul Coutts was getting tired of taking so many corners and my only worry was that we weren't going to make them pay.
“We were totally in command and for the first 20 minutes at least I thought we were superb.
“Craig got a fantastic team goal and we kicked on from there. We possibly could have won by more but we had a bit of a wobble at 3-1 and put a bit of pressure on ourselves.
“We’d love to finish in the top ten and finish the season really strongly.”
GREAT STRIKE: Chris Martin powers home Derby’s second goal
CAPTAIN MARVEL: Richard Keogh heads Derby’s third goal