Peterborough United striker Jonson Clarke-Harris remains fully focused on life at the Weston Homes Stadium, despite his failed transfer to fellow League One club Bristol Rovers earlier this month.
The 29-year-old was placed on the transfer list this summer as Peterborough looked to balance the books, despite hitting 26 league goals last season as Posh made the play-offs. A return to former club Bristol Rovers was on the cards, with manager Joey Barton keen to bring the prolific attacker back to the Memorial Stadium.
A deal worth £800,000 was agreed between the two clubs in the final stages of the transfer window, but the move fell through when deal sheets failed to be submitted on time and Clarke-Harris remained in Cambridgeshire.
Although Peterborough were happy for him to move on, they have benefitted immensely from him remaining at the club. He has scored in his last two outings, including in yesterday’s 1-1 draw with Bolton Wanderers. It’s a result that sees both sides locked on 14 points, just behind Exeter City in the final play-off position.
Speaking after the game, Clarke-Harris touched on his failed transfer to Rovers, via quotes supplied by Peterborough Today;
“I’m a simple man. I just get my head down and play games. Whatever has happened has happened. I’m here and I’m focused. The boss wants me to do a job so I’ll do a job.”
Continuing, the former Rotherham United man admitted his frustration with failing to break down their promotion rivals, saying;
“It’s so frustrating. Their post was the best player on the pitch and we were really unfortunate. We completely dominated the game in the first half and did everything the boss asked us to do.
“In the second half it was difficult. We came up against the same thing on Tuesday when we had to slowly break them down and we’ve just missed out this time.
“I wish they’d have kept 11 men on the pitch because they wouldn’t have taken so long to restart the game every time. We played the game at our tempo and knew they would come out flying, but I’d back all of our players to come out on top in a man-for-man battle against Bolton.
“I wish they hadn’t gone down to 10 because we were in total control.
“Conceding so quickly after taking the lead shows a lack of concentration. People keep saying we’re a young group, but we have to come here and take points if we want to be at the top end of the table.
“As for my goal, hopefully it’s just a copy and paste every week and the boys will recognise what kind of player I am and keep delivering balls like that into the box.
“It’s definitely two points lost today, but we’re going to have to take it on the chin.”
Ironically, Peterborough host Bristol Rovers next weekend, but can first end Mansfield Town’s unbeaten run when they travel to Nottinghamshire for their Carabao Cup third round tie at Field Mill.
It’s obvious why Peterborough were so keen to offload Clarke-Harris in the summer and £800,000 is a lot of money for a team at this level. With the striker approaching his thirties, this was potentially the last real opportunity to land a decent fee and there will be some regret that they were not able to achieve that. However, it is potentially a blessing in disguise.
Posh still harbour ambitions of returning to the Championship and they are a much better team with Clarke-Harris at their disposal. He is a player who pretty much guarantees goals and he is once again the club’s top goalscorer this season. If they are to make the play-offs for the second successive season, they will need his goals.