We bottled it says furious Peterborough United boss Darren Ferguson as he slammed his players following cup exit at Mansfield Town
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Ferguson labelled his players 'bottlers' and said their cup exit was a 'massive opportunity missed'.
The game ended 2-2 before Stags won on penalties to stay the only unbeaten side in the EFL this season.
But they were given a searching examination by Posh who looked nailed-on winners for the first hour.
Ferguson said: “I don't like criticising my players in public and I very rarely do as a manager.
“But I am not letting them get away with that one. They absolutely bottled it.
“We were losing tackles, kicking the ball anywhere and lost all our composure and looked so ragged. We were all over the place.
“That was staggering, though maybe not for this group of players.
“We actually started the game well before the penalty.
“Then we took complete control and should have equalised before we did.
“Then we were completely on top and started the second half fantastically well. For the first 65-70 minutes, the penalty aside, I thought we were really, really good and they couldn't get near us.
“It was just a case of killing the game off.
“But all of a sudden they started going back to front a bit more and we just bottled it – pure and simple. I can't dress this one up.”
He added: “I kept the same side tonight as I wanted consistency as the performance against Bolton was good.
“But when Mansfield started putting a bit of pressure on us we, as a team, did not cope.
“The main credential to have as a footballer is character and when the going gets tough you have to roll your sleeves up and keep playing the way we want to play.
“To stop doing that because they started getting about us is a crime.
“It is terrible result – there is no other way of putting up – and it is massive opportunity missed.
“It was a massive chance to get in the last 16 and I hope Mansfield now get Manchester United away or something like that so our players can see it tomorrow night.”