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View From The Town End - Peterborough (H)

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Well, no Premier League games for a while but in the meantime we've got League Cup action against Peterborough at the Madejski Stadium tonight.

We played the Posh just a few months ago, as Darren Ferguson's side ran out comfortable 3-1 winners at London Road. The last Madejski meeting saw Reading pushed all the way as they just about scraped a 3-2 win.

Ahead of tonight's game we spoke to John Verrall from Peterborough blog Standing On The Glebe.

How's the season started for Posh?

Pretty much as badly as possible. Despite a League Cup win over Southend we are yet to pick up a point in the league or show many signs that things will be changing any time soon.

A poor second-half performance away to Leicester was followed up by an absolutely abject one at home to Millwall. Things improved against Leeds at the weekend, with the team putting in their best performance of the season so far, but it was still not enough to avoid defeat.

As a result there are already ructions beginning to form in the fan-base and Posh have already been booed off. The season has only just started, but many are resigned to relegation even at this early stage.

You were one of few teams to beat us in the new year but generally struggled last year, what do you put the inconsistencies of last year down too?

A combination of inexperience and having a small squad. We've only managed to pick up four wins throughout the whole of 2012, but have showed how dangerous and how much talent this squad possesses on rare occasions.

As we don't have the money to fund the wages of experienced players at this level the club has had to put its faith in players that have impressed at lower levels managing to make the step-up to the Championship.

Unfortunately fatigue set-in after a blistering start to last season and the signs are that the squad still hasn't fully recovered - with lethargic looking performances becoming the norm.


What are your best memories of Reading v Peterborough?

Probably the 3-1 victory over you last season. It was a thoroughly accomplished performance and one of our most memorable of moments of the campaign. It also basically confirmed our Championship status and meant that we no longer had to worry about relegation - which was starting to become more and more of a concern with a series of poor results.

And the worst?

The 6-0 defeat in the 2009-2010 season was pretty dire and highlighted just how far off we were from being good enough to compete at Championship level. It was also the first of a collection of heavy defeats under the Gary Johnson reign.

Do you expect a strong lineup or will Fergie Jnr be resting a few Tuesday night?

Darragh MacAnthony and Darren Ferguson have always targeted a good cup-run as one of the things that they most want to achieve - as Posh's recent record in cup competition has been pretty poor.

However, in the build-up to this one, Ferguson has said that he will be making a lot of changes to give fringe-players a chance and to allow the first-team, who have been put under a fairly heavy schedule at the start of the season, a rest.

I'd expect a relatively mixed-squad containing a few of Ferguson's usual starting XI and some of the players that have spent most their time on the bench so far this season.

Anyone Reading fans should be wary of?

Danny Swanson is a player that was signed over the summer and reports suggested that he'd be a real star. However, he has yet to really make an impact - only appearing fleetingly off the bench. His performance in the last twenty minutes against Leeds was impressive, though, and most Posh fans are hoping that he gets more playing time in future weeks. He's almost certain to start here, and I would expect him to be determined to put in a good performance to ensure that he stakes his claim for a first-team place at the weekend.

Anyone Posh fans are worried about?

Gareth McCleary is a player I rate particularly highly. He's likely to be up against our youth-team left back, Kgosi Nthle, who has been one of the few positives of our season so far. This will be his toughest test to date, though, and I expect that it may have come too soon for the 18-year-old.

Score prediction?
I can see us being on the end of a rather heavy defeat, to be honest. I'll go with 4-1 Reading, if you are to play your strongest line-up as expected.

Thanks again to John and you can follow him on Twitter @JohnVerrall