Where We Are
Our last result was a contrast between performance and result. After dominating Swindon Town for the opening 70 minutes of last Saturday’s encounter we lost control of the game and subsequently conceded two goals from Swindon’s first spell of sustained pressure in the contest. The defeat was then compounded with the news that after just 2 appearances for the club, Chris Maguire was recalled by Sheffield Wednesday to help cope with an injury crisis at the Yorkshire club.
More importantly though it’s Christmas! Not only does this mean the year’s best roast dinner is imminent but football fans will also enjoy a feast of football coupled with time off work. Boxing Day sees Coventry take on Peterborough United and what better way to bounce back from the double disappointment of Saturday than with hopefully a win over an improving but underwhelming Peterborough side. Cue jokes about Peterborough now being a local derby match.
This festive period was always set to be a test of our mettle as a team no matter what situation we were going to find ourselves in. The flurry of fixtures that we’re in the midst of could either re-ignite our play-off challenge or put us back into looking over our shoulders. Given the way the team reacted after being thrashed by Tranmere last month you worry about the impact of another defeat but equally we are a side that can really get on a roll should we put in another strong performance and take points of one the pre-season title favourites.
Last Time We Met
The Peterborough United fixture during the 2011/12 season was a number of the games such as the Bristol City, Nottingham Forest and Millwall game which we left many fans wondering what might have been had Andy Thorn been a more positive manager. We took on Peterborough ahead of a 6 pointer against Bristol City on Easter Monday, after winning our first away game of the season fans hoped that City would put away a Peterborough side with nothing to play for to maintain a buffer over Bristol City in the relegation battle in the Championship.
After falling behind early on, Coventry rallied and equalised through Cody McDonald and then took the lead via a Gary McSheffrey penalty. By half time Coventry were dominating the game and pinning Peterborough into their own half. However an insipid and cautious second half saw Coventry drop deeper and deeper into their half and eventually conceded an equaliser to draw the game 2-2. A win would have been absolutely vital and may have saved Coventry from relegation that season however we only had ourselves to blame after allowing Peterborough back into the game, where the Posh had nothing to play for.
How Are They Doing?
Along with Bristol City, Peterborough were only granted a season long stay of execution in the Championship and were relegated in slightly unfortunate circumstances. Having played open and attacking football during their last stint in League One, many felt that Peterborough would storm the division this campaign, especially given that they kept several key players such as Lee Tomlin and Michael Bostwick who had been impressive in the Championship. After a highly encouraging start, Peterborough have largely failed to live up to expectations and what’s worse has been their more pragmatic approach to affairs this season, perhaps tempered by several heavy thrashings during their last spell in the second tier. Recently though Peterborough have shown some good form and are unbeaten following a surprise win over fellow pre-season favourites Wolves at the end of November.
Their dangermen are primarily in the form of the duo referenced above, Tomlin and Bostwick. Tomlin is a creative forward who can operate either behind the striker or in that front line, subject to heavy interest from Celtic this is a man who should be playing at a higher level of football. Bostwick is a defensive midfielder who has more recently been utilised as a central defender, he’s a rugged and forceful player with a famed ability to strike long ranged goals for his teams and is a threat at set pieces. Alongside these two is Britt Assombalonga who is the club’s record signing and leads their scoring charts, the Congolese forward is strong, pacey and a highly effective dribbler of the ball. A slightly raw talent but one who is fast maturing and allowing Peterborough the ability to play more defensive football without sacrificing too much of an attacking threat.
So many factors at play here it’s hard to tell the dominant narrative. On the one hand Coventry played extremely well last Saturday and won’t want to make the same mistake of not killing a team off when given the chance to. On the other we’re playing an improving Peterborough side and are squad is depleted of at least one member with Callum Wilson a slight doubt.
It’s a tough one to call so I suspect this will finish as a 2-2 draw.