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In Focus: Peterborough United

14 June 2013

Peterborough United are the next team to feature in our ‘In Focus’ look at the newcomers to League 1.

Darren Ferguson – Son of former Manchester United manager Alex, Darren Ferguson has been in charge of Peterborough United for last two years in what is his second spell at London Road.

The Scotsman played over 468 League games as a footballer between 1990 and 2007 before taking up the manager’s job at the Posh. After guiding United to two promotions in his first two seasons, Ferguson joined Preston North End but after winning just 13 of his 49 games in charge, Ferguson was relieved of his duties and he subsequently re-joined Peterborough.

Ferguson’s last success as a manager came in 2011, when he took the Posh up to the Championship via the play-offs at the expense of the Dons and Huddersfield Town.

Key and notable players:
Lee Tomlin – Tomlin joined Peterborough in August 2010 for an undisclosed fee has been a key part of the Posh’s attack ever since. The 24-year-old has already made over 100 appearances for the London Road outfit, scoring 27 goals in the process. Last season Tomlin finished as the side’s joint top goalscorer after netting 13 times in 44 games.

Grant McCann – McCann also joined the Posh in 2010 after they fought off a host of other Championship sides vying for his signature. A talented midfielder and dead ball specialist, McCann has just under 40 caps for Northern Ireland and has played over 110 times for Peterborough United. McCann was the Posh’s third-highest appearance maker last season.

Gabriel Zakuani – A Congo international, Zakuani signed for Peterborough United after a successful loan spell with the club in 2009. The towering centre-back has featured in 130 games for the Posh and is a key part of their backline. Zakuani, however, has expressed his desire to leave London Road this upcoming summer.

One to watch:
Dwight Gayle – After joining the Posh from Dagenham & Redbridge in January last year, Gayle burst onto the scene with 13 goals in just 28 games. The 22-year-old reportedly commanded a £500,000 fee back in January and he will definitely be one to watch in League 1 next season.

Lee Tomlin celebrates a goal last season

Stadium: London Road (14,640 capacity)
Nickname: The Posh
Kit: Blue shirts, white shorts, white socks

Peterborough United were formed in 1934 as a replacement for Peterborough & Fletton united, who had folded two years previous. The Posh were elected to the Football League for the beginning of the 1960-61 season, winning the Division Four championship in their debut year.

Spending decades in the bottom two Football League divisions, Peterborough enjoyed more fruitful years in the early 90’s and in 1992 the side earned their first promotion to the newly-formed First Division (the Championship). Finishing in 10th place two years later, the Posh’s highest-ever League finish, the London Road side have since endured both relegation and promotion to and from the division.

Peterborough United have won just two Football League titles in their history but have achieved promotion seven times, their most recent promotion coming in 2011 from League 1.

The Posh, who finished in 18th place in 2012, were keen to improve last season and they started by signing no less than 11 players in the summer transfer window.

The Posh, though, lost their opening seven games as they occupied last place heading into winter. Despite two victories on the spin in October, the Posh’s poor form continued and they managed to win just four more games prior to Christmas. 

However, a solid festive period at London Road helped revitalise Darren Ferguson’s men as they looked to perform a miracle survival act.  After losing to Bolton Wanderers on 26th February, only their third defeat of 2013, the Posh went unbeaten through March and April as they climbed out of the drop zone heading into last three games of the season. However, defeat to Crystal Palace on the final day saw the Cambridgeshire outfit succumb to relegation in dramatic style.

Peterborough United started life back in League 1 by offering contracts to duo Grant McCann and Mark Little. McCann and Little, whose contracts both run out this June, are yet to sign the new deals.

Meanwhile, Nicky Ajose, Emile Sinclair, Daniel Kearns and Tyrone Barnett have all been made available for transfer with winger Tommy Rowe also allowed to leave for the right offer. Gabriel Zakuani is another who has been transfer listed after the defender requested to leave following the club’s relegation.

One player who has left London Road, though, is young striker Jonson Clarke-Harris, who has joined Oldham Athletic for an undisclosed fee while playmaker George Boyd has completed a permanent switch to now-Premier League side Hull City, whom he spent the latter part of last season with on loan.

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