IT’S PLAN B FOR POSH AF­TER THEIR ‘EPIC FAIL’

The Football League Paper - - NEWS - By Tom Ede

DAR­REN FER­GU­SON ad­mits Peter­bor­ough ha ve been forced to r evert to Plan B af­ter they were de­nied an im­me­di­ate r eturn to the Cham­pi­onship.

Posh boss Fer­gu­son and chair­man Dar­ragh MacAn­thony were busy plot­ting for next sea­son be­fore the play­off semi-f inal def eat to Ori­ent on Tues­day.

And on the back of the 3-2 ag­gre­gate loss the Lon­don Road out­fit have de­cided to let five play­ers leave, in­clud­ing cap­tain Tommy Rowe.

Daniel Kearns, Nat KnightPer­ci­val, Craig Al­cock and Peter Grant are also among those to depar t af­ter a sea­son that promised much and de­liv­ered just the Foot­ball League Tro­phy in April.

And f ol­low­ing a meet­ing with MacAn­thony on Thurs­day, Fer­gu­son – whose own fu­ture ap­pears to be at the club – says they will have to cut the cloth ac­cord­ingly.

“We had a Plan A and and a Plan B in place depend­ing on what di­vi­sion we were in next sea­son,” he said.

“Ob­vi­ously it’s Plan B now and of course the sea­son as a whole is now a dis­ap­point­ment.

“Win­ning the Johnstone’s Paint Tro­phy f inal w as a tar­get, but our main aim was to fin­ish in the top tw o and re­turn to the Cham­pi­onship at the first at­tempt.

“We were too in­con­sis­tent to man­age that, but we f an­cied our chances in the play-offs so to miss out is a huge dis­ap­point­ment.”

Posh ha ve a pol­icy of trans­fer-list­ing an y pla yer en­ter­ing the f inal y ear of their con­tract, mean­ing nine fur­ther pla yers ar e up f or grabs.

Keeper Bob by Ole­jnik, who kept 22 clean­sheets this sea­son, Joe Day, Nicky Ajose, Nathaniel Men­dez-Laing , Char­lie Coul­son, Michael Richens, Kane F er­di­nand, Ty­rone Bar nett and Shaun Bris­ley ha ve all been told they may be sold.

But chair­man MacAn­thony r evealed on Twit­ter on Thurs­day that he had turned down a £2mil­lion bid f or an un­named player, be­lieved to be Jack Bald­win.

How­ever, Fer­gu­son still ad­mits it’ s g oing to be a tough sum­mer fol­low­ing rel­e­ga­tion fr om the Cham­pi­onship lit­tle over 12 months ago.

“The play­ers are hurt­ing right now as we all are,” he added. “It’s the sec­ond suc­ces­sive sea­son that w e’ve suf­fered heart­break in our last game. It’s painful, but this is not the time to crit­i­cise the play­ers or any­one else.”

Chair­man MacAn­thon y has vowed to car ry on and backed Fer­gu­son, but he will take a less pr omi­nent role him­self af­ter declar­ing he is suf­fer­ing from ‘burn-out’.

And he pulled no punches in his as­sess­ment of the sea­son. “It’s been a stress­ful time for me and the f am­ily and I need a break,” MacAn­thony said.

“I spent Tues­day night re­view­ing my own po­si­tion and won­der­ing whether I am the right man to take the club for­ward.

“I hardly slept a wink so while I will al­ways con­tinue to sup­port the club fi­nan­cially I might take a bit of a back seat from day to da y af­fairs.

“It’s been an epic f ail this sea­son.

“From me , the man­age­ment team and the pla ying squad.We’ve all failed in some way.”

FOL­LOW MY OR­DERS: Dar­ren Fer­gu­son, left, has big changes planned

at Posh

ON THE LIST: Robert Ole­jnik

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