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George the Sixth's Posh wish

29 December 2012

By Tony Leighton

Peterborough United's longest serving player George Boyd is hoping for a six-point celebration of the sixth anniversary of his arrival at London Road.

The relegation-threatened but spectacularly in-form Posh have vital games in quick succession against npower Championship survival rivals Bristol City and Barnsley, visiting the bottom of the table Robins on Saturday and then entertaining the second-bottom Tykes on New Year's Day.

And midfielder Boyd, who joined from the then non-league club Stevenage on 1st January 2007, will be aiming for nothing less than two victories to add to the highly impressive three in succession that the third-bottom Posh have just chalked up.

"We just want to keep on winning games and I believe we've got the ability to do that," Boyd told as he looked ahead with growing confidence after his team's wins against leaders Cardiff City plus two sides, Bolton Wanderers and Wolverhampton Wanderers, who last season were in the Premier League.

"We're playing some great stuff at the minute," added the 27-year-old midfielder. "No one but ourselves believed we could go to Cardiff and win, but we did that to give ourselves a massive confidence boost and we've kicked on from there.

"Now we've got two games that are more important than the last three in the sense that they're against teams who we're battling with to stay up.

"If we can win those two then we'll put ourselves within reach of a number of clubs who are being dragged down towards the relegation zone.

"We should feel confident after those last three results. The 3-0 win at Wolves was especially convincing - we were never in any trouble and as well as scoring three times we kept our first clean sheet for a while.

"Keeping the goals against us down is going to be vital because we've always got players who can score goals, that's always been one of our strengths."

What has indeed been one of Peterborough's strengths during Boyd's time at the club has been the team's ability to find the net, with the midfielder himself one of the most prolific scorers along with former strikers such as Craig Mackail-Smith and Aaron McLean.

But since the departures of Mackail-Smith and McLean to Brighton and Hove Albion and Hull City respectively, the goals have not flowed at such a substantial rate.

That situation could, however, be set to change for the better following the signing of 22-year-old striker Dwight Gayle - initially on loan but with the deal set to be made permanent - from League 2 club Dagenham and Redbridge.

Gayle has hit six goals in his first seven appearances, all six strikes coming in the last five games to give the Posh's survival fight a huge boost.

And strike partner Lee Tomlin has responded well to playing alongside the new man, Tomlin netting in each of the last two games and manager Darren Ferguson declaring that he is in the best form of his two-and-a-half seasons with Posh.

Boyd, whose six years at the club have included three promotions and a relegation, is delighted that the two front men have hit it off so quickly as Ferguson's team look to avoid dropping back to League 1 two years after being promoted.

"Dwight's been fantastic for us," said Boyd. "It's been great to see the way that he's made the transition from League 2 to the Championship look so easy, and just as good to see the way that he and Tommo [Lee Tomlin] complement each other so well."

If Gayle and Tomlin maintain their scoring form and the wins continue to mount then Posh, who started the season with a disastrous run of seven straight defeats, will be a good bet to stay in the Championship - and Boyd is absolutely sure about that.

"I've said all season that I've no doubt whatsoever that we will stay up," said the midfield man, "and I've no reason to change my mind - we'll be okay."

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