Expert insight on Oxford United’s play-off opponents

Mark Harris opened the scoring from the penalty spot in that game, before Josh Murphy, a brace from Ruben Rodrigues, and a late Billy Bodin effort added to Peterborough’s nightmare.

The two teams now meet again, this time in the first leg of a Sky Bet League One play-off semi-final.

Ahead of the game, we caught up with Peterborough Telegraph sports editor Alan Swann.

READ ALSO: Key stats as regular season ends – and which U’s player was most fouled in league?

How have Peterborough responded since that 5-0 defeat last month?

They’ve shrugged it off as ‘just one of those days’. They won the next two matches to make sure of a fourth-place finish, which was important to them as they wanted to play a play-off semi-final second leg at home.

Posh felt they were the better team until gifting Oxford two goals and then they lacked the energy to mount a comeback. It was a third game in six days, including an emotional one at Wembley, which was probably a factor in the overall performance.

What’s the mood in the Posh camp about facing the U’s so soon after the recent league clash?

A couple of players spoke about it as soon as the semi-final line-up was known and, while they and the manager stopped short of using the word ‘revenge’ they expressed confidence about getting a different result. The manager is certainly respectful of Oxford, pointing out that two key men [Elliott Moore and Cameron Brannagan] didn’t even play in the 5-0 game.

Who are going to be the key players and potential match-winners for Posh?

Given the chasing Josh Murphy gave him in the recent game, right back Jadel Katongo is a key man. He can’t let Murphy run loose again.

Our left-sided player Ephron Mason-Clark is keen to show why Coventry City have paid £4.25 million for him and he wants to leave Posh with a bang as befits an explosive talent. He’s the obvious match-winner.

Central midfielders Archie Collins and Hector Kyprianou have enjoyed outstanding seasons, while centre back Ronnie Edwards is a class act, although he didn’t look like one on our last visit!

How do you see the first leg panning out? How do you think Darren Ferguson will approach the game?

The Posh approach will be no different to the last game at the Kassam Stadium, but hopefully with fewer mistakes. They will play out from the back, try and drag Oxford forward and then exploit space with their attacking speed and skill. They will be positive. They are not set up to frustrate and defend in numbers. It should be a fun game!

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