Posh aim to burn down For­est

DAR­REN Ferguson and his Posh play­ers are lick­ing their lips ahead of a fiendishly tough fes­tive pe­riod.

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE - by MARK PLUM­MER mark.plum­mer@jpress.co.uk

Ferguson leads his men into Box­ing Day bat­tle at the City Ground against strug­gling Not­ting­ham For­est (3pm kick­off) to launch a test­ing run of Cham­pi­onship matches that will take the club into 2012.

A New Year’s Eve trip to Mid­dles­brough fol­lows next Satur­day be­fore Birm­ing­ham City visit Lon­don Road on Jan­uary 2.

But it is the clash with lowly For­est, who have slumped into the Cham­pi­onship rel­e­ga­tion zone, that is the sole fo­cus of at­ten­tion cur­rently.

Ferguson said: “We have a hard run of games ahead but be­ing in­volved in matches against clubs of the stature of For­est, Mid­dles­brough and Birm­ing­ham is why we worked so hard to get back into this league.

“In fact I don’t think we could get many bet­ter games on Box­ing Day than For­est away. It’s a rel­a­tively short jour­ney over there and I’m sure we’ll have a good fol­low­ing.

“Re­tain­ing pos­ses­sion of the ball and frus­trat­ing For­est will be key to get­ting a re­sult there.

“They are on a bad run and we have to put them un­der pres­sure and try to make their fans un­easy.

“If you look at For­est’s squad you cer­tainly wouldn’t ex­pect them to be in their cur­rent po­si­tion, but they are down there for a rea­son.

“They haven’t scored in five games and hope­fully by 5pm on Mon­day that run will have been ex­tended to six matches.

“For­est tend to go with a 44-2 sys­tem at home and I fully ex­pect them to oper­ate with wingers against us.

“Be­ing on a bad run can af­fect you men­tally re­gard­less of your abil­ity. I’m sure ev­ery­one will still ex­pect them to beat lit­tle old Peter­bor­ough but we’ll be do­ing our ut­most to en­sure that’s not the case.”

While the club’s Box­ing Day fix­ture re­ceived the thumbs- up, the fix­ture plan­ners weren’t so kind to the Posh faith­ful when hand­ing them a lengthy trip to Teesside next Satur­day.

Ferguson ex­pects a tough fi­nal match of 2011 against a Mid­dles­bor­ough side he rates highly and an equally hard test awaits in their open­ing out­ing of next year when Birm­ing­ham visit.

He added: “I like the way Mid­dles­brough play and I think they’re a very good team, while we saw how strong Birm­ing­ham can be at their place last month when we came away with an ex­cel­lent point.

“But I know that if we get it right and play in the cor­rect way, we can hurt any team at this level.”

THUMBS UP: Dar­ren Ferguson is rel­ish­ing the Posh fix­tures over the fes­tive pe­riod.

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