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Peterborough United v Accrington Stanley - Sky Bet League One - Weston Homes Stadium

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Fan Focus: Peterborough fan Jarred says Jonson Clarke-Harris reminds him of Emile Heskey!

Ahead of Sunderland’s match against promotion rivals Peterborough, Matthew spoke to Co-host of The Yellow Block podcast Jarred Farmer to get the low-down on our opponents ahead of what is a MASSIVE game.

Photo by Nigel French/PA Images via Getty Images

MC: Peterborough currently sit second on the League One table, just one point behind leaders Hull - are you confident your team will achieve automatic promotion to the Championship?

JF: I am never confident when it comes to automatic promotion and The Posh, however, we are in a fantastic position and it would be a huge disappointment if we were to drop out of the top two at this stage.

MC: Considering he lost both Ivan Toney and Marcus Maddison in the summer, do you think Darren Ferguson has done an excellent job to mount a promotion push with Posh this season?

JF: Ferguson has done well, however, he has been backed heavily in the transfer market by our owners, we were the highest spenders in the summer by a wide margin. There is no doubting the job he has done so far!

MC: Peterborough have won 14 of your 18 home fixtures this season, scoring 43 goals, what makes your team so effective at London Road?

JF: This is a subject we have spoken about on our podcast, as normally the obvious answer is the fans, but as we know that is not the case this season.

I think it is a case of feeling comfortable and focusing purely on ourselves when we play at home. Our home form has been outstanding all season.

Crewe Alexandra v Peterborough United - Sky Bet League One
Ferguson has won promotion with Posh on three different occasions.
Photo by James Gill - Danehouse/Getty Images

MC: Jonson Clarke-Harris has scored 26 League One goals this season and is the league’s top scorer - what makes him so clinical?

JF: He has been superb, we had him at the club as a youth, but he left the club under a cloud shall we say. He reminds me of Emile Heskey, that is a compliment believe it or not, he uses his strength very well, he is very good in the air and is an accomplished finisher.

You will never replace a player like Ivan Toney, but Clarke-Harris is as close as we will ever get.

MC: Sunderland were reportedly interested in Sammie Szmodics before he signed for Posh in the summer, just how good of a signing has he proved to be?

JF: We were expecting to sign him again on loan - but to sign him permanently was a great bit of business. He is a class act, he struggled for form in the first half of the season but he has been very good these past few months.

MC: Siriki Dembele handed in a transfer request in January, which was firmly rejected by chairman Darragh MacAnthony - has that affected his performances at all?

JF: No, in fairness to Dembele he has remained professional. It did not go down well with the Posh hierarchy as the timing was poor. Posh never stand in a players way, you only have to look at the players who have left us for bigger things in recent years.

He will get his move like all our better players do, but to hand in a transfer request halfway through a promotion push was poor from him.

MC: 19-year-old defender Bobby Copping was forced to retire in February after suffering a mini-seizure from heading the ball. Were you pleased to see he was given a job at the club’s academy?

JF: Delighted, it is a testament to the people who run the club, to ensure there is a position available to Bobby after such terrible news for the young lad.

Bobby has now set up a foundation which is terrific news, he is a credit to the football club.

Peterborough United v Northampton Town - Sky Bet League One
Darragh MacAnthony has been Peterborough chairman since 2006.
Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images

MC: Posh chairman Darragh McAnthony is very open and bold with his opinions about the club on his own The Hard Truth podcast, and he is known at EFL level for his ability to find cheap quality players; how is he viewed amongst the fanbase?

JF: I am a fan of Darragh’s. I do not always agree with him, but he has done wonders for the football club. I would say that is the general consensus from our fan base. He is very much liked.

There is always the odd few who he can never please, but as you Sunderland fans know, you can easily fall into the wrong hands when it comes to ownership.

MC: Which eleven Peterborough players do you believe Darren Ferguson will select against Sunderland and what style of play can Lee Johnson’s side expect to encounter?

JF: We have been playing five at the back, deploying wing backs all season but Fergie has changed to four in recent weeks.

I will go for a 4-2-3-1, Pym in goal, a back four of Thompson, Beevers, Kent, Butler at the back, Jack Taylor and Reece Brown in the centre of midfield with Dembele and Ward on the wings, Szmodics playing just off Clarke-Harris up front.

MC: Sunderland beat Peterborough 1-0 back in September, what is your honest prediction of the final score this time around?

JF: I have not been so nervous and excited about a game of football in many years. I would take a point for sure, it is important not to lose. I think the Black Cats will win the league, but I will go for a 1-1 draw.

Best of luck for the rest of the season, after Monday of course. It is great to see your club with the feel good factor back!

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