Neil Harris’ Lions maintained their unbeaten away start to the 2015/16 season on Tuesday night, with a 2-2 draw at pre-season promotion favourites, Wigan Athletic. The one point gained could – and perhaps should – have been three, but Will Grigg’s injury-time equaliser ensured a share of the spoils. The away days continue this weekend, as the Lions travel to Peterborough United. Steve Thorpe provides this edition of ‘The View From The Opposition’…
Name: Steve Thorpe – Trustee and Fundraiser at Free Kicks Foundation. We are a charity who raise money to give deserving children days out at football matches.
First Peterborough game: At home to Newport County in March 1974. We won 2-0 and went on to win the Fourth Division that year; I thought it would always be that good!
Greatest moment following Peterborough: We’ve been lucky over the last few years, with play-off wins, promotions and a JPT win, but nothing beats the day we won 2-1 at Huddersfield Town in 1992, to make Wembley in the play-offs for the first time. We were massive underdogs after a 2-2 home draw and then going one down early on, but we turned it round and won it right at the end.
Graham Westley has just taken over as Posh manager – opinions on him amongst your fan base seem to be split? What is your opinion of him?: I was sceptical, to be honest – just from the stories I’d read about the style of football he played, but, having spoken to a couple of players who played for him, I was more reassured. He’s spoken very well since he joined; this squad certainly needed a kick up the arse, which hopefully he will give them. Keeping Grant McCann at the club alongside him is a master stroke; Grant is loved at Posh and the style of football we played in the two games he was in caretaker charge was what Posh fans want and expect.
Millwall defeated Peterborough 1-0 in the JPT last month – do you think that game will have any bearing on Saturday? I assume not, as you have a new manager and there will be lots of changes?: I agree, I don’t think it will affect the outcome. We were struggling then, we weren’t scoring goals and lacking in confidence. Despite the defeat to Bury in the week, we played OK and there wasn’t many grumbles from the fans. The sending off gave a very good Bury side room to play – sloppy defending let us down.
Who are Peterborough’s ‘ones to watch’ on Saturday?: Marcus Maddison is our star man at the moment. He is another massive talent we signed from non-league and in the last few games, his work rate has noticeably increased. He has pace, a box of tricks and most of what we create comes through him. At the back, Ricardo Santos is 20 and 6’5” and turning into a very good footballer. He is strong and his long legs get him out of trouble – his distribution and ability to bring the ball out of the back is improving all the time, also.
Are there any Millwall players you will be wary of?: I have to admit, I don’t know much about the Millwall squad. Steve Morison is one of those players who always seems to do well against us -I’m always wary of goalscorers!
How do you see both teams doing this season? I imagine the aim for Peterborough is to be in the top six come May?: I think we will both be up there at the end of the season. I’d like to think we can get in the play-offs; there isn’t an outstanding team in the league this season, so I can see it being pretty close. The top five teams at the moment aren’t the ones many would predict would be up there, so I think it’s a pretty open league. See you at Wembley in May!
How do you see the game going?: I hate predicting results, as I don’t like to predict us to win and you can’t predict your own team to lose!
Score Prediction: On the fence – Peterborough United 1-1 Millwall!
Steve’s Team Prediction: Alnwick; Smith, Zakuani, Santos, Elder; Bostwick; Maddison, Collison; Forrester; Angol, Coulibaly.
Graham Westley will be looking for his first home win as Peterborough United manager as they take on Millwall this Saturday, October 3rd. Kick-off at the ABAX Stadium is at 3pm.