Conor is tipped for the top by Westley
CONOR Washington has been backed to follow in the footsteps of Shane Long by Peterborough United manager Graham Westley after rediscovering his scoring touch.
Washington, who was criticised for squandering numerous chances in Posh’s 3-2 defeat at Coventry last Saturday, ruined Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s 50th match in charge of Burton with goals either side of half-time.
Jermaine Anderson also struck for Posh, who introduced Jack Baldwin in second-half stoppage time for his first appearance in over a year since injuring cruciate ligaments, only for him to be sent off two minutes later for a poor challenge on Phil Edwards.
But the afternoon belonged to Washington who Westley believes has the attributes to thrive at a higher level.
“He’s going to score goals. Defenders at this level will not be able to deal with his pace and his technical ability,” he said.
“If he’s decisive he’s going to be a hell of a player. Clubs at a higher level are looking at him enviously. Someone said to me he’s like Shane Long.”
On his side’s performance Westley said: “We knew the onus was on us and the boys delivered second-half.
“We had to weather a bit of a storm but second-half it was one-way traffic. It was a very positive performance.”
On Baldwin’s red card he added: “The good news is he is back on a football pitch but in his exuberance he made a challenge he would not like.”
Burton began well but Posh took the lead when Michael Smith slipped Washington through on goal and he fired past Brewers’ goalkeeper Remi Matthews.
After Ben Alnwick had made an excellent save from an Edwards header Washington grabbed his fifth goal of the season when he went past a hesitant Matthews before slotting home.
Anderson then struck from Callum Elder’s cross as Posh moved one game away from reaching the third round for the ninth time in ten seasons since losing to nonleague Burton back in 2005.
Hasselbaink, an FA Cup runner-up with Chelsea in 2002, has been linked with replacing sacked QPR manager Chris Ramsey.
He said: “It’s always flattering and it’s nice to be linked. I’m ambitious but at the moment I’m the Burton Albion manager and that’s the most important thing in my life. That’s what I’m concentrating on.”
An unimpressed Hasselbaink, who said he was keeping an eye on Newcastle striker Ivan Toney, added: “We looked fragile at times and naive. And one thing we have not been in the past is naive.
“That was not us.We are competitive, we play good football and we put teams in trouble. We had to shuffle with new people playing.”